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make-believe

[meyk-bi-leev] /ˈmeɪk bɪˌliv/
noun
1.
pretense, especially of an innocent or playful kind; feigning; sham:
the make-believe of children playing.
2.
a pretender; a person who pretends.
adjective
3.
pretended; feigned; imaginary; made-up; unreal:
a make-believe world of fantasy.
Origin
1805-1815
1805-15
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for make-believe
  • Most readers are players of fantasy sports, make-believe leagues based on real-life performances.
  • Higher education ought to teach students to recognize the difference between effective social advocacy and make-believe.
  • Science fiction mixes real science with make-believe.
  • Perhaps acting was really a continuation of the make-believe games of childhood-fascinating, in a way.
  • There is always an element of stagecraft, even make-believe, in our agreement that someone has power over us or over anyone.
  • Superficial or make-believe political discourse is not the fundamental problem in some areas of public life.
  • But an element of make-believe is never absent either.
  • To some, the notion that big money can be made from selling make-believe items may seem bizarre.
  • To get all the way down to the core, the filmmakers have to resort to make-believe.
  • Computers can make you see and hear make-believe worlds, but so far they have left out the sense of touch.
British Dictionary definitions for make-believe

make believe

verb
1.
to pretend or enact a fantasy: the children made believe they were doctors
noun
2.
  1. a fantasy, pretence, or unreality
  2. (as modifier): a make-believe world
3.
a person who pretends
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for make-believe
n.

"pretence," 1811, from make (v.) + believe. As an adjective by 1824.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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