Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “make sth up”

See all translations

make sth up

verb uk phrasal verb with make   /meɪk/ (made, made) us  

(INVENT)

B2 to invent something, such as an excuse or a story, often in order to deceive: I made up an excuse about having to look after the kids. My dad was always really good at making up stories.
More examples
  • They made up an excuse not to go to the meeting.
  • She told us stories about her family, but they were all made up.
  • There was no fire - he made it all up.
  • If you can't think what to write, just make something up.
  • I made up a few words about his role in the company.

(PREPARE)

to prepare or arrange something by putting different things together: Could you make up a list of all the things that need to be done? He asked the man behind the counter to make up a box with a selection of chocolates. The maid will make up your room later. specialized fabrics to produce or prepare something from cloth: We could use the rest of the material to make up some curtains. specialized publishing If you make up a page, book, or newspaper, you arrange the text and pictures in the form in which they will be printed. If you make up a bed for someone, you put sheets and covers on a bed so that they have a place to sleep in your home. UK If you make up a fire, you prepare it or put more wood or coal on it when it is burning.

(COMPLETE)

to make an amount of something complete or correct: I have £20,000 and I need £25,000 but my parents have promised to make up the difference. UK I suspect we were only invited to make up numbers (= to provide enough people).

(REPLACE)

to reduce or replace something, usually an amount of time or work, that has been lost: We're hoping to make up time on the return journey by not stopping at night. You'll have to make up the work you missed while you were away.
(Definition of make sth up from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of make sth up?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“make sth up” in English

    Definitions of “make sth up” in other dictionaries

    Word of the Day

    punt

    a long, narrow boat with a flat bottom and a square area at each end, moved by a person standing on one of the square areas and pushing a long pole against the bottom of the river

    Word of the Day

    Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

    by Liz Walter,
    April 15, 2015
    Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

    Read More 

    dumbwalking noun

    April 20, 2015
    walking slowly, without paying attention to the world around you because you are consulting a smartphone He told me dumbwalking probably wouldn’t be a long-term problem.

    Read More