Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Playful or fanciful pretense.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The quality or act of pretending; assuming something is true when in fact one knows it is not.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Feigned; insincere.
  • adj. Imaginary.
  • n. A feigning to believe, as in the play of children; a mere pretense; a fiction; an invention.
  • intransitive v. To pretend; -- often used with that, but often having the that omitted.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Pretense; sham; false or fanciful representation.
  • Unreal; sham; pretended.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the enactment of a pretense
  • n. imaginative intellectual play
  • adj. imagined as in a play
  • v. represent fictitiously, as in a play, or pretend to be or act like

Etymologies

From make + believe. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • With documentaries I guess I feel I want to just enjoy a world of make-believe, of fiction, and not have my emotions tossed all over the place.

    Movie Review: Exit Through the Gift Shop « Colleen Anderson

  • This ain't Powerpoint make-believe no more - it's building a real, working rocket.

    Doubts About Ares 1 Continue to Mount - NASA Watch

  • Yes, Massenet tells the tale charmingly and makes much of those moments that have fuelled children's make-believe for all time – the ball, the midnight-hour escape and that magical shoe-fitting episode.

    Cendrillon; Rinaldo – review

  • So I made up some Cubans, put a make-believe protagonist among them and published a novel that caught not the place I'd seen and transcribed so much as the one I'd felt and intuited.

    The Good Luck of Notes Turned to Ash

  • My make-believe was more convincing because Nana had gone upstairs to quilt while dinner baked, and the kiddo was doing homework at the dinette.

    Arcane Circle

  • The discrepancy between the Congressional Budget Office's findings and those make-believe numbers from the White House leaves us with an 8.6% shortfall, but that piece of legislation is not our only worry.

    Policy Debates Should Use Real Numbers

  • Vampires were just make-believe; horror-movie stuff like demons and zombies.

    Haven

  • And, as always, to Mom and Dad and my family and friends for the unwavering support, and to Audrey, James, and Jonathan for putting up with my “spacey” moments and allowing me time to dwell in make-believe lands.

    Darkness Becomes Her

  • Despite my resources, despite my high profile, when it came to intimate relationships I lived in the world of make-believe.

    True You

  • Edgar spares us the spectacle of a make-believe Lamour, it's studded with other vignettes and dubious representations of historical figures: a charm-free Ginger Rogers, a blank-slate Charles Lindbergh, a cloddish Robert F. Kennedy and an appallingly crude approximation of Richard Nixon.

    'J. Edgar': Hoover's Life, in a Dramatic Vacuum

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