make love

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From make + love, calque of Old Occitan far amor, Middle French faire l'amour.


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

  1. (now archaic) To make amorous approaches to; to woo, romance, court. [from 16th c.]
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:woo
    • 1596, Spenser, Edmund, The Faerie Queene, book 6, canto 11:
      So from thenceforth, when love he to her made, / With better tearmes she did him entertaine [] .
    • 1815, Austen, Jane, Emma:
      scarcely had she begun, scarcely had they passed the sweep-gate and joined the other carriage, than she found her subject cut up – her hand seized – her attention demanded, and Mr. Elton actually making violent love to her: availing himself of the precious opportunity, declaring sentiments which must already be well known [] .
    • 1910, Saki, “The Baker's Dozen”, in Reginald in Russia:
      After all, the chief charm is in the fact of being made love to. You are making love to me, aren't you?
    • 1941, Maugham, W[illiam] Somerset, Up at the Villa, Vintage, published 2004, page 24:
      ‘Ever since I was sixteen men have been making love to me.’
    • 1946, Donna Reed as Mary Hatch, It's a Wonderful Life:
      He's making violent love to me, Mother.
  2. (euphemistic) To engage in sexual intercourse. [from 20th c.]
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:copulate
    • 1974, “Can't Get Enough of Your Love”, performed by Barry White:
      There's many times that we've loved / We've shared love and made love / It doesn't seem to me like it's enough
    • 1977, “Wake Up And Make Love With Me”, in New Boots and Panties!!, performed by Ian Dury:
      Wake up and make love with me, wake up and make love / Wake up and make love with me / I don't want to make you, I'll let the fancy take you / And you'll wake up and make love
    • 1995 March 22, “Seinfeld with Madonna? 'Cosmo' reveals sex fantasies”, in The Arizona Republic:
      Actress Dana Delany fantasizes about making love with two men.
    • 2003 October 27, Alan Jackson (lyrics and music), “Remember When”, in Greatest Hits Volume II (Promo-only CD single), performed by Alan Jackson:
      We made love and then you cried