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In a recent Facebook post for a friend of mine, he used the phrase make-believe in the sentence to indicate a bad pretending habit of some institute. His usage was similar to saying:

Just keep pretending. After all, the entire country is all make-believe.

As from the famous company slogan, I thought that phrase implies a good meaning. But the previous usage made me think: What is the usage of this phrase? and is it an idiom or some kind of a known phrase or expression?

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2 Answers

That which is make-believe is pretended, imaginary or fanciful. It is sometimes used to suggest that something is better than it really is, which is the way your friend seems to have used it in his post.

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Sony's current (and quite new) corporate slogan "make.believe" is a play on this expression, giving a good meaning - perhaps something like "We make things that will make you believe in your wildest dreams" instead of the original phrase's connotation of childish, unrealistic things.

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