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Playful or fanciful pretense.

make′-be·lieve′ adj.


1. pretense, esp. of an innocent or playful kind; feigning.
2. pretended; feigned; imaginary.
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"


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


The presentation of something false as true:


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 ...


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


[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


(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 .
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.
Suddenly a make-believe spin was thrown in which the media and the Supreme Court got caught up in.
Ahsan Iqbal stated that social media was being used as a tool to spin things out of the context and with regards to the new twist in the Zainab rape case, which came about after the as-yet unverified claims by anchorperson Shahid Masood, stated, a make-believe spin was thrown in which the media and the Supreme Court got caught up".
The minister further stated, "This proves how big of a tool of chaos and disruption social media is as it later turned out that the news run by an anchor, on which the Supreme Court also took notice, was entirely make-believe.
But just because children prefer the real deal, as research by Angeline Lillard of the University of Virginia shows, that does not negate the value of make-believe and toy play.
Barrie are effectively placed at key points in the story, including this one, as Wendy chases a phantom she believes could be her brother: "The difference between HIM HER and the other BOYS GIRLS at such a time [was] that they knew it was MAKE-BELIEVE, while to HIM HER make-believe and TRUE were the EXACT SAME thing.
Making Make-Believe Real: Politics as Theater in Shakespeare's Time.
The site's woodland and grass fields will be turned into a land of enchanted make-believe for three nights where fairies and lost boys, the characters from JM Barrie's Peter Pan, will take centre stage over the August Bank Holiday.
Why discriminate against one make-believe god over another?