verb (used with object), built or (Archaic) build·ed; build·ing.
- to make (words) from letters.
- to assemble (cards) according to number, suit, etc., as in melding.
verb (used without object), built or (Archaic) build·ed; build·ing.
- a version of a program after compilation, typically an update to an existing version made before the program is released.
- the process of producing a software build.
- a new version or update of data in a database or on a website: frequent, incremental builds of data.
- a vertical joint.
- the vertical dimension of a stone laid on its bed.
- to develop or increase: to build up a bank account.
- to strengthen.
- to prepare in stages.
- to fill in with houses; develop into an urban area.
- to praise or flatter.
Origin of build
verb builds, building or built
- to add cards to each other to form (a sequence or set)
- (intr)to add to the layout of cards on the table from one's hand
Word Origin for build
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]
"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.).
Also, build into. Construct or include as an integral part; also, make automatic, concomitant, or inherent. For example, Frank Lloyd Wright liked to build in as much furniture as possible, not just bookcases but desks, tables, and the like, or We've got to build some slack into the schedule for this project. The literal usage referring to physical objects dates from the late 1920s. The figurative arose a decade or so later. Both are frequently used in past participle form, that is, built in.
In addition to the idioms beginning with build
- build down
- build in
- build on
- build on sand
- build up
- light (build) a fire under
Also see underbuilt.