Origin of build

before 1150; Middle English bilden, Old English byldan, derivative of bold, variant of botl dwelling, house

Related forms

Can be confused

billed build
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for build on

build

/ (bɪld) /

verb builds, building or built

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

Idioms and Phrases with build on (1 of 2)

build on


Also, build upon. Add as an extension; use as a basis or foundation. For example, They decided to build on an addition, or She was building all her hopes on passing the exam. John Locke had this idiom in his treatise on government (1689): “Sovereignty built on ‘property’ . . . comes to nothing.” [Late 1600s]

Idioms and Phrases with build on (2 of 2)

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.