From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishmake believemake believePRETENDto pretend or imagine that something is true when it is not I tried to make believe she was happy, but knew deep down it wasn’t true. → make-believe → make
Examples from the Corpusmake believe• Right, kids. We don't have any proper cowboy hats so you'll have to make believe.• You seem to think that it's all a game, a make believe.• She's not really a queen -- it's only make-believe.• For two hours, they're packed together as the Hercules fly low above the make believe battle zone.• Or l would make believe he owed me money.• You can't go on making believe that nothing is wrong.• She made believe that they were as happy together as they should be, and was careful to weep only in secret.• The two little girls used to make believe that they were princesses.• The make believe world of Disney is a truly magical experience that knows no age barriers.• If somebody gives you something to read, you make believe you read it..make-believeˈmake-beˌlieve noun [uncountable] PRETENDwhen you imagine or pretend that something is real or true He seems to be living in a world of make-believe. children in the middle of a make-believe adventure
Examples from the Corpusmake-believe• Surely it was part of a make-believe, like imagining you were playing number three for Somerset?• The staff had a hard time assuring him that is was all make-believe.• So we can probably rule out the theory that he is indulging in a weekly exercise in make-believe.• The fact that Gelsomina is awakened only by costuming suggests her need-given the limitations of Personal life-to escape into make-believe.• For it is a curious characteristic of our unformed species that we live and model our lives through acts of make-believe.• That word appearing is the key to understanding the congressional world of make-believe.• The make-believe could be eliminated if Congress systematically traced its laws through the bureaucracy to see what finally happened after their enactment.• Some time there will have to be an end to this make-believe.world of make-believe• That word appearing is the key to understanding the congressional world of make-believe.