make do

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make do (third-person singular simple present makes do, present participle making do, simple past and past participle made do)

  1. (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.
    • 2018 April 10, Daniel Taylor, “Liverpool go through after Mohamed Salah stops Manchester City fightback”, in The Guardian (London)[1]:
      Pep Guardiola’s team will have to make do with the Premier League title whereas Liverpool will go into Friday’s draw because over the two legs they were more clinical during their spells of superiority.
  2. (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’.
  3. (transitive, informal) To use for one's purpose something worn, defective, or intended for another purpose.
    • 1902, Lina Beard with Adelia Belle Beard, What a girl can make and do: new ideas for work and play[2], 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?”, in American review of shoes and leather, volumes 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

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