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building block

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noun
  1. block(def 2).
  2. one of a set of cube-shaped blocks used by children to make simple constructions.
  3. a basic element or component: the building blocks of proteins.
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Origin of building block

First recorded in 1840–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for building block

building block

noun
  1. a block of stone or other material, larger than a brick, used in building
  2. a component that fits with others to form a wholestandardized software building blocks
  3. another name for (the child's toy) block
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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