Language: Old English
Origin: byldan


1 verb
build1 S1 W1 past tense and past participle built

make something

[intransitive and transitive] to make something, especially a building or something large:
The purpose is to build new houses for local people.
The road took many years to build.
They needed $3m to build the bridge.
It is the female birds that build the nests.
Developers want to build on the site of the old gas works.
a row of recently built houses
build somebody something
He's going to build the children a doll's house.

make something develop

also build up [transitive] to make something develop or form:
She had built a reputation as a criminal lawyer.
She's been busy building her career.
Ross took twenty years to build up his business.
build (up) a picture of somebody/something (=form a clear idea about someone or something)
We're trying to build up a picture of what happened.

be built of something

to be made using particular materials:
The church was built of brick.


also build up [intransitive and transitive] if a feeling builds or if you build it, it increases gradually over a period of time:
Tension began to build as they argued more frequently.
In order to build your self esteem, set yourself targets you can reach.

build bridges

to try to establish a better relationship between people who do not like each other:
Peter needs to try and build bridges with Lizzie.

build something around something

phrasal verb
to base something on an idea or thing and develop it from there:
Successful businesses are built around good personal relationships.

build something ↔ in

phrasal verb
TBC to make something so that it is a permanent part of a wall, room etc:
You could build in a wardrobe with mirrored doors.

build something into something

phrasal verb
1TBC to make something so that it is a permanent part of a wall, room etc:
There are three cash machines built into the wall.
2 to make something a permanent part of a system, agreement etc:
Opportunities for reviewing the timings should be built into the plan.

build on

phrasal verb

build something on something

to base something on an idea or thing:
Our relationship is built on trust.

build on something

to use your achievements as a base for further development:
The new plan will build on the success of the previous programme.
3TBC to add another room to a building in order to have more space
build something ↔ on
We're planning to build on a conservatory.

build up

phrasal verb

increase gradually

if something builds up somewhere or if you build it up, it gradually becomes bigger or greater
build something ↔ up
The museum has built up a fine art collection.
the rate at which the pension builds up


build something ↔ up

to make something develop or form
build something ↔ up into
He's built up the family firm into a multinational company.


if a feeling builds up or if you build it up, it increases gradually over a period of time:
If you don't express your feelings, frustration and anger can build up.
build up something
You have to build up trust.

make healthy

build somebody/something ↔ up

to make someone well and strong again, especially after an illness:
Taking exercise will build up your strength.


build somebody/something ↔ up

to praise someone or something so that other people think they are really good or so that they have more confidence:
The coach has been building his men up before the match.

build up somebody's hopes/build somebody's hopes up

to unfairly encourage someone to think that they will get what they hope for:
Don't build your hopes up too much.

build up to something

phrasal verb
to prepare for a particular moment or event:
I could tell she was building up to some kind of announcement.

Dictionary results for "build"
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