Make Up For Something Definition


Make Up For Something Definition

Have you ever done something or said something you felt regret for and need to make things better? What did you do? Say sorry? Buy a gift? Have you ever been good at one thing, a strength, that offsets the things that you are bad at?

The phrasal verb makes up for something, like many phrasal verbs, has two meaning depending on the context they are used.

1. Meaning of Make up for something:

To do something to show that you are sorry for doing something that upset or made someone angry.

  • I am sorry for being lake today, I will make up the time by staying later today.
  • OK, look I am sorry.  Let me take you out for dinner to make up for missing the opera.


Carla: Hey Simon, I am really sorry for missing your birthday.

Simon: Hmmm. What happened to you?

Carla: I got stuck in Dallas and couldn’t make it back. I will make it up to you and take you out for dinner?

Simon: Well, I guess. I was really bummed out you did show.

Carla: OK, I am really sorry. What else can I do to make up for it?

Simon: Well … I had my eye on a new iPad Pro, so …..

2. Meaning of Make up for something:

To replace something that has been lost and/or to make a bad situation better.

  • I didn’t go running today, to make up for it I will skip lunch.
  • The good moments more than make up for the bad moments in a marriage.


Ron: Hey Henry, I wanted to ask you about Jack and his performance.

Henry: Sure. He is doing ok. He has some issues with his speed and is a little slow.

Ron: OK, hmm… is that an issue.

Henry: Not now. I spoke to him and he is working on it. The good thing is his attention to detail and quality of his work makes up for the speed issue.

Ron: OK. Well maybe we can consider adding some personal to help make up for the loss of productivity until Jack can get up to speed.    

Other words you can create: noun, verb, adjective, adverb, etc. (ex: mug – mugger)

Made up for something

Making up for something


Made up for something

Making up for something

Related Phrasal Verbs:

Give way to- we use this phrase when we express something or someone to be replaced by something, especially something newer or better.

  • I need to give way to a new diet as I need to make up for the weight I’ve gained.

Come up with- we use this phrase to describe how someone can produce or provide what people want.

  • We need to come up with something to make up for missing your mom’s birthday.

Cater to- we use this phrase to describe how someone how to provide people with something they want or need.

  • I will cater to your needs and make up for my poor behavior.

Compensate for- in the context of make up for something, it means to offset or attempt to offset something.

  • All of his sudden honesty cannot compensate for his lies and there is nothing he can do to make up his behavior.

Make amends for- we use this phrase to describe a person do something to show they are sorry for hurting or upsetting someone and do something that makes them feel better.

  • I need to make amends for behavior and do something to make up for my outburst at my girlfriend.

Straighten out- we use this phrase when we express how to repair and fix something

  • I promise we will straighten out the issue and make up for any inconvenience and costs you have incurred.

Set right- we use this phrase to say that someone has corrected a wrong or a mistake.

  • The company set thingsright when they made up for their damage to the environment.

Related idioms:

Take one’s medicine- we use this phrase to say that someone has accepted or willing to accept punishment for something they have done wrong.

Sweet talk- We use this phrase to express when someone says things to someone in order to influence them or get them to do something we want.

Flutter your eyelashes at someone- to use a person’s body language to influence someone to.

Synonyms (other ways to say):






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