make sense of

make sense (out) of (something)

To interpret something in a way that one can understand or that reveals some purpose, reason, etc. It will be a long time before we can begin to make sense of this tragedy. Can you make sense out of these markings? Is it a code, or what?
See also: make, of, sense
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

make (some) sense (out) of someone or something

to understand someone or something. I can't make sense out of Doris and what she has done! No one can make sense out of Tom's story.
See also: make, of, sense
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In short, the science she enjoins her readers to make sense of is far too easy to dismiss.
(8) Ironically, had this article actually been extended to a book-length study of the Tantric Buddhist caryavrata, it would undoubtedly help "make sense of Tantric Buddhism" in a hitherto unprecedented and truly groundbreaking way.
To make sense of things at the highest level of generality is to make sense of things in terms of what it is to make sense of things.
Understanding statistics has become the key to understanding the world, and Campbell hopes to give readers what they need to make sense of bars, pies, numbers, percentages, and much more.
All elements were interwoven because educator and students negotiated the classroom environment as they attempted to make sense of and respond to each other's actions.
In the process, they were able to make sense of each other's thinking and obtain a correct solution.
For instance, she asked questions such as, "Does anyone else agree with this idea--why or why not?" "Did anyone solve it in a different way?" or "Does anyone have a question or comment about this?" She expected the students to listen to one another, make sense of the ideas, and ask questions of those who were presenting their solutions.
The classroom goal was to make sense of tasks, negotiate meaning, resolve any conflicting ideas, and strengthen students' reasoning abilities.
She encouraged students to make sense of each others' solutions during whole class discussion and challenge each other by disagreeing with solutions or asking questions of clarification.
Thus, while representing a singular lesson plan, in some respects, the problem-centered approach proved flexible enough to accommodate a wide variety of students: bringing them together in collaborative ways; helping them individually and collectively make sense of addition and subtraction; and nudging them to take responsibility for their own learning.
Also, in spite of the teacher's rendition of the word basket and her mispronunciation of "saize" for "says" she was still able to make sense of the story by using good meaning-making strategies.
Here, Melissa went back to the beginning of the sentence to make sense of the printed message.
"If we can't make sense of it, we don't have any information," she says.
But at a time when people are trying to make sense of everything from church burnings to Wise Use ballot initiatives to armed Freemen and the Viper Militia, a book that gives a coherent, current explanation of the subject matter these two anthologies tackle is needed.