built so as to be an integral and permanent part of a larger construction: The wall has a built-in bookcase.
existing as a natural or characteristic part of something; inherent: a built-in contempt for daydreaming.


a built-in piece of furniture or appliance.
an additional feature or capability, as of a machine or a service: a car with power steering, power brakes, and other built-ins.

Origin of built-in

First recorded in 1895–1900
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for built-in

Contemporary Examples of built-in

Historical Examples of built-in

  • There was a built-in order to return, after the lapse of a certain time period.


    Robert Sheckley

  • This suit's got a built-in recorder, I might as well use it.

    Accidental Death

    Peter Baily

  • A bath, faintly scented, in a built-in tub in her own marble bathroom.

    Free Air

    Sinclair Lewis

  • He shifted uneasily on the built-in seat, and got a splinter in a vital spot.

  • Unerringly, the axis of the built-in antenna pointed to the houseboat.

British Dictionary definitions for built-in



made or incorporated as an integral parta built-in cupboard; a built-in escape clause
essential; inherent


Australian a built-in cupboard or wardrobe
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