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. (archaic) To make amorous approaches (to); to woo, romance, court. [from 16th c.]
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:woo
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, “Book VI, Canto XI”, in The Faerie Queene. [], part II (books IV–VI), London: [] [Richard Field] for William Ponsonby, →OCLC, stanza 7, page 494:
      So from thenceforth, when loue he to her made, / VVith better tearmes ſhe did him entertaine, / VVhich gaue him hope, and did him halfe perſvvade, / That he iunb time her ioyaunce ſhould obtaine.
    • 1815 December (indicated as 1816), [Jane Austen], chapter XV, in Emma: [], volume I, London: [] [Charles Roworth and James Moyes] for John Murray, →OCLC, page 275:
      [S]carcely 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, []
    • 1878, Henry James, chapter VIII, in The Europeans[1], Macmillan and Co.:
      About a week afterwards she said to him, point-blank, “Are you seriously making love to your little cousin?”
    • 1910, Saki [pseudonym; Hector Hugh Munro], “The Baker’s Dozen”, in Reginald in Russia and Other Sketches, London: Methuen & Co. [], →OCLC, page 107:
      After all, the chief charm is in the fact of being made love to. You are making love to me, aren't you?
    • 1914, Elinore Pruitt Stewart, Letters of a Woman Homesteader, Houghton Mifflin Company, pages 3–4:
      The first stage we tackled was just about as rickety as it could very well be and I had to sit with the driver, who was a Mormon and so handsome that I was not a bit offended when he insisted on making love all the way, especially after he told me that he was a widower Mormon.
    • 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, It's a Wonderful Life, spoken by Mary Hatch (Donna Reed):
      He's making violent love to me, Mother.
  2. (euphemistic) To engage in sexual intercourse. [from 20th c.]
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:copulate
    • 1974, “Feel Like Makin’ Love”, performed by Roberta Flack:
      I feel like makin' love to you / That's the time / I feel like makin' dreams come true
    • 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

Derived terms[edit]