Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
See also: make-do
- (intransitive, idiomatic, informal) to survive, get by with, or use whatever is available (due to lack of resources)
- There is barely enough money, so we will have to make do with what we have.
- (transitive, informal) to put into action
- Make the movie do! (Put on the movie!)
- Brandon’s makin’ the grill do so we can get to eatin’.
- (transitive, informal) To use for one's purpose something worn, defective, or intended for another purpose.
1902, Lina Beard; Adelia Belle Beard, What a girl can make and do: new ideas for work and play, page 7:
- A poor screw-driver is one of the most exasperating of poor tools, and a trial to one's patience and temper; besides, it is of little use attempting to "make it do," for it seldom will do.
1920, George F. Johnson, “How Do You Suppose We Make a Success of Our Business?”, American review of shoes and leather, volume 35-38:
- It is not the same hide but we make it do. You work harder to make it into good leather and harder to make it into good shoes, and we get by.
2005, Trevanian, The crazyladies of Pearl Street, page 65:
- She had dozens of ways to make something ‘do’ for another week or month. Skillful with a needle, she could darn and re- darn our socks without making the heel or toe uncomfortably thick
to get by (with)