make sense

Idioms & Phrases

make sense

  1. Be understandable. This usage, first recorded in 1686, is often used in a negative context, as in This explanation doesn't make sense.

  2. Be reasonable, wise, or practical, as in It makes sense to find out first how many will attend the conference. This term employs sense in the meaning of "what is reasonable," a usage dating from 1600. In Britain it is also put as stand to sense.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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