make sth up Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Meaning of “make sth up” in the English Dictionary

"make sth up" in British English

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make sth up

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


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.


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 ​yourroomlater. 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 ​yourhome. UK If you make up a ​fire, you ​prepare it or put more ​wood or ​coal on it when it is ​burning.


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).


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 ​returnjourney 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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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“make sth up” in British English

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