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Playful or fanciful pretense.

make′-be·lieve′ adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. pretense, esp. of an innocent or playful kind; feigning.
2. pretended; feigned; imaginary.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.make-believe - imaginative intellectual playmake-believe - imaginative intellectual play  
imagery, imaging, mental imagery, imagination - the ability to form mental images of things or events; "he could still hear her in his imagination"
2.make-believe - the enactment of a pretense; "it was just pretend"
pretending, pretense, feigning, simulation, pretence - the act of giving a false appearance; "his conformity was only pretending"
Adj.1.make-believe - imagined as in a play; "the make-believe world of theater"; "play money"; "dangling their legs in the water to catch pretend fish"
unreal - lacking in reality or substance or genuineness; not corresponding to acknowledged facts or criteria; "ghosts and other unreal entities"; "unreal propaganda serving as news"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. fantasy, imagination, pretence, charade, unreality, dream, play-acting She squandered her millions on a life of make-believe.
fantasy fact, reality, actuality, truthfulness
1. imaginary, dream, imagined, made-up, fantasy, pretend, pretended, mock, sham, unreal, fantasized Children withdraw at times into a make-believe world.
imaginary real, genuine, authentic, unfeigned
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


The presentation of something false as true:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


A. ADJfingido, simulado; [world etc] → de ensueño, de fantasía
make-believe play/gamesjuegos mpl de fantasía
B. N don't worry, it's just make-believeno te preocupes, no es de verdad
a land or world of make-believeun mundo de ensueño or fantasía
to play at make-believejugar a ser personajes imaginarios
C. VIfingir
D. VT to make-believe thatfingir que ..., hacer que ...
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


adj attrFantasie-, Phantasie-, imaginär; a make-believe worldeine Fantasie- or Phantasie- or Scheinwelt
nFantasie f, → Phantasie f; a world of make-believeeine Fantasie- or Phantasie- or Scheinwelt; don’t be afraid, it’s only make-believehab keine Angst, das ist doch nur eine Geschichte
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈmeɪkbɪˌliːv] n the land of make-believeil mondo delle favole
it's just make-believe (activity) → è solo per finta (story) → sono frottole, è tutta un'invenzione
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(meik) past tense, past participle made (meid) verb
1. to create, form or produce. God made the Earth; She makes all her own clothes; He made it out of paper; to make a muddle/mess of the job; to make lunch/coffee; We made an arrangement/agreement/deal/bargain.
2. to compel, force or cause (a person or thing to do something). They made her do it; He made me laugh.
3. to cause to be. I made it clear; You've made me very unhappy.
4. to gain or earn. He makes $100 a week; to make a profit.
5. (of numbers etc) to add up to; to amount to. 2 and 2 make(s) 4.
6. to become, turn into, or be. He'll make an excellent teacher.
7. to estimate as. I make the total 483.
8. to appoint, or choose, as. He was made manager.
9. used with many nouns to give a similar meaning to that of the verb from which the noun is formed. He made several attempts (= attempted several times); They made a left turn (= turned left); He made (= offered) a suggestion/proposal; Have you any comments to make?
a (usually manufacturer's) brand. What make is your new car?
ˈmaker noun
a person who makes. a tool-maker; a dressmaker.
ˈmaking noun
the process of producing or forming something. glassmaking; (also adjective) the road-making industry.
ˌmake-beˈlieve noun
the act or art of pretending and imagining. a world of make-believe; (also adjective) a make-believe world.
ˈmake-ˌover noun
a (complete) change in a person's appearance made by cosmetic treatment, new hairstyle, new clothes etc.
ˈmakeshift adjective
temporary and usually of poor quality. a makeshift garden shed.
ˈmake-up noun
1. cosmetics applied to the face etc. She never wears any make-up.
2. the set, or combination, of characteristics or ingredients that together form something, eg a personality; composition. Violence is just not part of his make-up.
have the makings of
to have the clear ability for becoming. Your son has the makings of an engineer.
in the making
being made or formed at this very moment. A revolution is in the making.
make a/one's bed
to tidy and straighten the sheets, blankets etc on a bed after it has been used. The children make their own beds every morning.
make believe
to pretend (that). The children made believe they were animals.
make do (with with)
to use something as a poor-quality or temporary alternative to the real thing. There's no meat, so we'll have to make do with potatoes.
make for
to go towards. We're making for home.
make it
to be successful. After twenty years, we've finally made it.
make it up
1. to become friends again after a quarrel. It's time you two made it up (with each other).
2. to give compensation or make amends for something. I'm sorry – I'll make it up to you somehow.
make (something) of (something)
to understand (something) by or from (something). What do you make of all this?
make out
1. to see, hear or understand. He could make out a ship in the distance.
2. to make it seem that. He made out that he was earning a huge amount of money.
3. to write or fill in. The doctor made out a prescription.
4. (slang) to kiss, hug and caress; to neck. They were making out in the back seat.
make over
(American) to change something or turn it into something else. They made over the room as an office; The plastic surgeon made her face over.
make up
1. to invent. He made up the whole story.
2. to compose or be part(s) of. The group was made up of doctors and lawyers.
3. to complete. We need one more player – will you make up the number(s)?
4. to apply cosmetics to (the face). I don't like to see women making up (their faces) in public.
5. to become friends again (after a quarrel etc). They've finally made up (their disagreement).
make up for
to supply a reward, substitute etc for disappointment, damage, loss (of money or time) etc. Next week we'll try to make up for lost time.
make up one's mind
to make a decision. He finally made up his mind about the job.
make up to
to try to gain the favour or love of by flattery etc. She's always making up to the teacher by bringing him presents.

made of is used in speaking of the material from which an object is constructed etc: This table is made of wood/plastic/steel .
made from is used in speaking of the raw material from which something has been produced by a process of manufacture: Paper is made from wood/rags .
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
And then, after a few make-believe attempts, Bob actually did whirl and caught Daylight napping again and landed him in the old position with clasped arms around the neck.
The difference between him and the other boys at such a time was that they knew it was make-believe, while to him make-believe and true were exactly the same thing.
If they broke down in their make-believe he rapped them on the knuckles.
The make-believe of ferocity passed out of his growls; the ferocity in them became real.
While Leo and Brad's characters in Once Upon a Time In Hollywood are fictional, the movie merges the land of make-believe with the all too real and horrific events surrounding the Manson family.
President Rodrigo Duterte's fourth State of the Nation Address (Sona) consisted 'mostly of make-believe narration' and 'unfulfilled promises,' the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL) said on Tuesday.
After all, somewhere, in the back of their minds, children know they are just playing a game, that it's all make-believe. For us adults however, there's no one to tell us otherwise.
"Throughout my career/' Harris explains, "I have seen literally hundreds of young children become captivated by the adventures of animals- both real and make-believe."
The big show for the young campers was using a portable pump to extinguish a make-believe fire.
You don't have to create a make-believe world for yourself; it's already created for you.
To the side of the ambulance Iola's bright red coat runs down the hill, pulling away from all the people who hold her back and, when Iola runs through the ice cream and up to Gwyn, and kicks Gwyn, screams at him and shouts and shouts these make-believe can't-believe make-believe words: "murderer, murderer, murderer," Pigeon knows.
Earlier on Friday, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal too had said that the SC and media had been caught up in a 'make-believe' story on the Kasur case propagated by the anchor and aimed at defaming the government.