make up the numbers(redirected from they made up the numbers)
make up the numbers
1. To reach the necessary number of people to do or have something. With so many people declining to attend, I doubt we'll be able to make up the numbers to have this event without losing money.
2. To participate or be included merely as a means of reaching the necessary number of people for some task or activity. I was excited that they wanted me on their team, but I realized that I was just making up the numbers.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.