(third-person singular simple present makes out, present participle making out, simple past and past participle made out)
- To draw up (a document etc.), to designate (a cheque) to a given recipient, payee. [from 15th c.]
- Cheques may be made out to the Foo Bar Company.
- To discern; to manage to see, hear etc. [from 16th c.]
- (now chiefly US, regional, intransitive) To manage, get along; to do (well, badly etc.). [from 17th c.]
- Oh, you were on a TV game show? How did you make out?
- (intransitive) To represent; to make (something) appear to be true. [from 17th c.]
- His version of the story makes me out to be the bad guy.
- (intransitive) To succeed in seducing; to have sex. [from 20th c.]
- (slang, chiefly US, intransitive) To kiss passionately. [from 20th c.]
- We found a secluded spot where we could make out in private.
- In all transitive senses, the object may either precede the particle out or follow it, the tendency being for short or lexically light objects to precede the particle ("I can't make that out"), and for long or lexically heavy objects to follow it ("I can't make out what he's saying"). In the special case that the object is a personal pronoun, this tendency becomes almost a rule; even if highly stressed, it is exceedingly unlikely to follow the particle.
(comparative more make-out, superlative most make-out)
- A kiss.