make love

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From make + love, calque of Old Provençal 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.]
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, VI.11:
      So from thenceforth, when love he to her made, / With better tearmes she did him entertaine […].
    • 1815, Jane Austen, 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’, 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, W Somerset Maugham, Up at the Villa, Vintage 2004, p. 24:
      ‘Ever since I was sixteen men have been making love to me.’
    • 1946, It's a Wonderful Life:
      He's making violent love to me, Mother.
  2. (euphemistic) To engage in sexual intercourse. [from 20th c.]
    • 1974, Barry White, Can't Get Enough of Your Love
      I've heard people say that
      Too much of anything is not good for you, baby
      Oh no
      But I don't know about that
      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