make it

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

  1. To succeed in doing something, for example in reaching a place, going somewhere, attending an event, arriving in time for something, adding to one's schedule or itinerary, or in getting where one wants to be in one's life or career, which sometimes means becoming or wanting to become successful (succeed in a big way) or famous.
    He never made it to Italy despite talking about it all his life.
    I can't make it to the concert; I have to work.
    I'm not just going to make it; I'm going to make it big.
    • 1995, “We Are Not Going To Make It”, performed by The Presidents of the United States of America:
      We're not gonna make it / ’Cause there’s a million better bands
    • 2003, Frank P. Baron, What Fish Don't Want You to Know:
      I was scrambling to my feet when I saw the car sliding back toward me, having not quite made it to the crest of the hill.
    • 2023 October 19, Brendan I. Koerner, “Watch This Guy Work, and You’ll Finally Understand the TikTok Era”, in Wired[1], →ISSN:
      He was fated to be, as he puts it, “a metal kid who never made it.”
  2. To succeed in surviving, in living through something.
    • 1980, Will D. Campbell, Brother to a Dragonfly:
      Don’t die, pal. You’re gonna make it little buddy. Come on, man. We’re gonna help you, and you’re gonna make it.
    • 2017, BioWare, Mass Effect: Andromeda (Science Fiction), Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →OCLC, PC, scene: For the Commander:
      Arjaan didn't make it. He went down covering our saboteur-took out nearly a dozen kett before he fell.
  3. To have sexual intercourse.
    Synonyms: do it, get it; see also Thesaurus:copulate
    • 1976, Paul Schrader, 01:21:04 from the start, in Martin Scorsese, director, Taxi Driver (film):
      Iris Steensma (Jodie Foster): “Listen, we better make it or Sport’ll get mad. So how do you wanna make it?”
      Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro): “I don’t wanna make it. Who’s Sport?”
      Iris Steensma: “Oh, that’s Matthew. I call him Sport. Wanna make it like this? (starts to unbuckle belt) [] “Don't you want to make it?”
      Travis Bickle: “No I don’t wanna make it. I wanna help you” []
      Iris Steensma: “Listen, we don’t have to make it mister.”
    • 1993, The Four Sonyas, translation of original by Vladimír Páral:
      [] a fellow who knew how to make every girl happy, but once he’d made it with her didn’t know where to go from there.
  4. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see make,‎ it.