make it up
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1. verb To compose or constitute. Simple syrup is made up of just sugar and water. Americans believe that the 50 states make up a union that is greater than the sum of its parts.
2. verb To contrive something that is not true or real; to fabricate. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "make" and "up." Julie finally admitted to the principal that her turtle did not eat her homework, and that she had made the whole thing up. It turns out that the reporter simply made up the statistics—they had no basis in reality.
3. verb To create something based on one's imagination. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "make" and "up." A: "How did you come up with that character? Is he based on someone you know?" B: "No, I just made him up." The chef is known for making up dishes using unusual flavor profiles.
4. verb To reconcile or resolve differences. I'm glad to see you two have finally made up. It was awkward with you fighting all the time.
5. verb To construct, assemble, or produce something. I'll have Janet make up a few packets for you before you leave.
6. verb To apply makeup to someone or oneself. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "make" and "up." We'll need 10 minutes to make her up before she's ready to go on air. I like to make myself up even if I'm just going out to buy milk—you never know who you're going to run into. You'll be amazed at the difference after they make up Hank as the lizard man.
7. verb To complete an activity, especially an exam, that one had previously missed or neglected to do. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "make" and "up." I know you were out sick, but you'll still need to make up this test. I have a lot of work to make up at the office, so I'm going to stay a little late tonight.
8. verb To compensate for a previous discrepancy or transgression. I'm sorry I missed your game. How about I make it up to you with some ice cream? I hope this makes up for last time.
9. verb To order or arrange something; to get something ready for someone's use. Please be sure to make up her dressing room before she gets here.
10. noun An exam for those who missed the first time it was administered. In this usage, the phrase is usually spelled as one word. I was out sick for the test so I'm going to have to take the makeup.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
make it up
see under make up.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.