make up

Slang Dictionary

make definition

  1. tv.
    to identify someone. (Underworld.) : We tried to make him down at the station but came up with nothing.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

make up

  1. Put together, construct or compose, as in The druggist made up the prescription, or The tailor said he could make up a suit from this fabric. This usage was first recorded in 1530.

  2. Constitute, form, as in One hundred years make up a century. [Late 1500s]

  3. Change one's appearance; apply cosmetics. For example, He made himself up as an old man. [c. 1800]

  4. Devise a fiction or falsehood; invent. For example, Mary is always making up stories for her children, or Is that account true or did you make it up? This usage was first recorded in 1828.

  5. Compensate for, provide for a deficiency, as in Can you make up the difference in the bill? or What he lacks in height he makes up in skill. This usage was first recorded in 1538. Also see make up for lost time.

  6. Repeat a course, take a test or do an assignment at a later time because of previous absence or failure. For example, Steve will have to make up calculus this summer, or The professor is letting me make up the exam tomorrow.

  7. Also, make it up. Resolve a quarrel, as in The Sweeneys argue a lot but they always make up before going to sleep, or Will you two ever make it up? The first usage was first recorded in 1699, the variant in 1669.

  8. Put in order, as in We asked them to make up the room for us, or Can you make up another bed in this room? [Early 1800s] Also see the subsequent idioms beginning with make up.

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