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Make is a build automation tool for software development. It's similar to other build tools like Ant, Maven, and Rake, but Make uses a text file with directives that describe the relationships among files and how to create them. The instructions are written in makefile format using rules that specify dependencies between different elements of a project. When executed with specific targets in mind, Make automatically determines which parts of a program need to be recompiled or relinked and carries out those actions. This can significantly speed up the build process by only updating what has changed since the last build rather than rebuilding everything from scratch each time.