Definition of make-believe in English:

make-believe

noun

  • The action of pretending or imagining, typically that things are better than they really are.

    ‘she's living in a world of make-believe’
    • ‘Dreams and make-believes are all very well in the daytime and the sunshine, but when dark and storm come they fail to satisfy.’
    • ‘I was angry with his seven-year game of make-believe.’
    • ‘I could play make-believe, pretend away all the pain.’
    • ‘The only option for survival is submerging oneself in an illusion of meaning, a world of make-believe.’
    • ‘The country's economy, too, was a land of make-believe.’
    • ‘Well, that wasn't make-believe but a reality for one man, Timothy Treadwell.’
    • ‘There's no fairy-tale involved like Midsummer Night's Dream where there's make-believe.’
    • ‘So I think, Sir, that these stories are all make-believe; there are no kings and princes, or goblins or gold.’
    • ‘But I have learned the hard way that Superman is make-believe.’
    • ‘Compared to astrophotographs, images of computer simulations often seem like shabby make-believes.’
    • ‘This city is often described as one of dreams and fantasy, of tinselish make-believe.’
    • ‘In fact, has not experience taught us that adults are more susceptible to make-believe than children, and far more skilled at creating it?’
    • ‘Of course all photography is illusion, all cinema make-believe.’
    • ‘It must be nice to live in the land of make-believe.’
    • ‘And she found within days that it was all just make-believe.’
    • ‘Politicians and the media engage in sanctioned make-believe.’
    • ‘That's really how it began: me playing make-believe in front of the house, shooting at an imaginary basket with a ball of rags.’
    • ‘Collect any piece of clothing or accessory that could lend itself to make-believe.’
    • ‘The novelist instantly senses make-believe, and so do we.’
    • ‘The virtual, as associated with VR, is seen as a kind of pretend reality, or make-believe.’
    fantasy, pretence, pretending, daydreaming, dreaming, imagination, invention, fancy, dream, unreality, romancing, fabrication, play-acting, charade, masquerade, self-deception, illusion, delusion
    View synonyms

adjective

  • Imitating something real; pretend.

    ‘he was firing a make-believe gun at the spy planes’
    • ‘We spent days ‘shooting’ each other with our toy guns and kicking make-believe stirrups into imaginary horses.’
    • ‘She threw my make-believe corpse into a real open grave while I haunted.’
    • ‘However, I am deeply concerned with what goes on within the REAL world not the make-believe one of Hollywood.’
    • ‘I'm not dead, just living in a make-believe world right now.’
    • ‘It's a real-world situation in a make-believe town.’
    • ‘Which brings me back to that make-believe laundry pile and my own lesson: uncovering a life purpose by defining my values.’
    • ‘He faced a little bush and lifted his make-believe gun.’
    • ‘And those of us who actually make up that make-believe market share?’
    • ‘After this epiphany, she and Furii work to dismantle the fantasies of Deborah's make-believe world.’
    • ‘It weakens their precarious hold on their make-believe world.’
    • ‘He turned his hand in to the shape of a gun and he pulled the make-believe trigger towards my head.’
    • ‘In the beginning of the story, Mia is in Genovia, the make-believe country that seems so real.’
    • ‘The media and the Democrats sustain each other's make-believe land.’
    • ‘This is when hundreds of communists and non-communists ‘confessed’ to make-believe crimes in show trials.’
    • ‘If only I could have lived in that make-believe world where a mother displayed her affection for her daughter without hesitation.’
    • ‘Are they all totally imaginary, inspired by real people, or just an amalgam of the make-believe world and the real one?’
    • ‘But the 42-year-old Cruise shrugs it off as just another make-believe soul that grabbed him.’
    • ‘There is an interesting story here - in fact, the only story of Mai that isn't make-believe.’
    • ‘And the judge said ‘Guilty’ in a make-believe trial and slapped the sheriff on the back with a smile’
    • ‘I liked to fill it with various objects represented the ‘equipment’ I'd need for my current make-believe mission.’
    imaginary, imagined, pretended, made-up, fantasy, fantasized, fancied, dream, dreamed-up, unreal, fanciful, fictitious, fictive, mythical, feigned, fake, mock, sham, simulated, pseudo, false, spurious
    pretend, phoney
    play-play
    View synonyms

verb

  • Pretend; imagine.

    [with clause] ‘Brenda rode along, make-believing she was a knight riding to the rescue’
    • ‘Two Czech students hoodwinked the media and most of Prague by the look of it, make-believing that they were building a hypermarket and shopping precinct.’
    • ‘When the teens were younger they used to play a game, where they would make-believe that they all lived in the royal palace in the middle of the city.’
    • ‘Nigel Hadgkiss can make-believe all he wants in the Tool Shed this week while he protects the murderers in the industry, all he's done so far is make Inspector Clouseau look like Perry Mason.’
    • ‘I was knocking them together gently, make-believing that they were real entities, locked in fisticuffs, a classic battle of good versus evil.’
    • ‘Whilst we were running down there was a ‘roar from the crowd’ and Tom Courtney walked along the road behind us and make-believed the ‘roar’ was from the crowd at a Nuremburg rally saluting him’.’
    • ‘But I make-believed the dyno and tried the mantle… and did it!’
    • ‘Whether he or she is an outgoing sailor or a free spirited pirate we have the supplies to keep them make-believing.’
    • ‘Children know how to imagine and make-believe, and how to play.’
    • ‘But at the same time, you're all playing it with me and make-believing your own reality… that's what imagination is for by the way.’
    • ‘As long as they stayed out of NATO's hair, that is, the Russians could go on make-believing that they were playing a crucial role in the occupation of Kosovo.’
    • ‘The tea parties were make-believed but the talks and the memories were real.’
    • ‘The dark-haired child gave way to her sister's commands, slinking to the base of the stone pedestal that would be make-believed into a high and impenetrable lair.’
    pretend, fantasize, indulge in fantasy, daydream, build castles in the air, build castles in spain, dream, imagine, romance, fancy, play-act, play
    View synonyms

Pronunciation:

make-believe

/ˈmākbəˌlēv/