American English

Definition of build verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they build
    he / she / it builds
    past simple built
    -ing form building
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] to make something, especially a building, by putting parts together build (something) They have permission to build 200 new houses. Robins build nests almost anywhere. They're going to build on the site of the old power station. build something of/in/from something a house built of stone apartment buildings built in brick and concrete build something for somebody They had a house built for them. build somebody something David built us a shed in the backyard.
  2. 2[transitive] build something to create or develop something She built a new career for herself. We want to build a better life. This information will help us build a picture of his attacker.
  3. 3[intransitive] (of a feeling) to become gradually stronger The tension and excitement built gradually all day.
  4. Idioms
    (build) castles in the air
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    (to have) plans or dreams that are not likely to happen or come true As a child he would wander around the docks, building castles in the air about owning a boat one day.
    Rome wasn't built in a day (saying)
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    used to say that a complicated task will take a long time and needs patience
    Phrasal Verbsbuild something around somethingbuild somethinginbuild on somethingbuild something on somethingbuild somethingonbuild up (to something)build somebody/something upbuild somebody/yourselfupbuild somethingupbuild up to something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: build