Origin of build

before 1150; Middle English bilden, Old English byldan, derivative of bold, variant of botl dwelling, house
Related formsbuild·a·ble, adjectivemis·build, verb, mis·built, mis·build·ing.out·build, verb (used with object), out·built, out·build·ing.pre·build, verb (used with object), pre·built, pre·build·ing.su·per·build, verb, su·per·built, su·per·build·ing.un·build·a·ble, adjectiveun·der·build, verb, un·der·built, un·der·build·ing.
Can be confusedbilled build
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for build

Contemporary Examples of build

Historical Examples of build



British Dictionary definitions for build

build

verb builds, building or built

to make, construct, or form by joining parts or materialsto build a house
(intr) to be a builder by profession
(tr) to order the building ofthe government builds most of our hospitals
(foll by on or upon) to base; foundhis theory was not built on facts
(tr) to establish and developit took ten years to build a business
(tr) to make in a particular way or for a particular purposethe car was not built for speed
(intr often foll by up) to increase in intensitythe wind was building
cards
  1. to add cards to each other to form (a sequence or set)
  2. (intr)to add to the layout of cards on the table from one's hand

noun

physical form, figure, or proportionsa man with an athletic build

Word Origin for build

Old English byldan; related to bylda farmer, bold building, Old Norse bōl farm, dwelling; see bower 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for build
v.

late Old English byldan "construct a house," verb form of bold "house," from Proto-Germanic *buthlam (cf. Old Saxon bodl, Old Frisian bodel "building, house"), from PIE *bhu- "to dwell," from root *bheue- "to be, exist, grow" (see be). Rare in Old English; in Middle English it won out over more common Old English timbran (see timber). Modern spelling is unexplained. Figurative use from mid-15c. Of physical things other than buildings from late 16c. Related: Builded (archaic); built; building.

In the United States, this verb is used with much more latitude than in England. There, as Fennimore Cooper puts it, everything is BUILT. The priest BUILDS up a flock; the speculator a fortune; the lawyer a reputation; the landlord a town; and the tailor, as in England, BUILDS up a suit of clothes. A fire is BUILT instead of made, and the expression is even extended to individuals, to be BUILT being used with the meaning of formed. [Farmer, "Slang and Its Analogues," 1890]
n.

"style of construction," 1660s, from build (v.). Earlier in this sense was built (1610s). Meaning "physical construction and fitness of a person" attested by 1981. Earliest sense, now obsolete, was "a building" (early 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with build

build

In addition to the idioms beginning with build

  • build down
  • build in
  • build on
  • build on sand
  • build up

also see:

  • light (build) a fire under

Also see underbuilt.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.