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castles in the air

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Extravagant hopes and plans that will never be carried out: “I told him he should stop building castles in the air and train for a sensible profession.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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castles in the air

Also, castles in Spain. Dreams about future success, as in Musing about the bestseller list, she was apt to build castles in the air. The first term dates from the late 1500s. The variant, castles in Spain (or chateaux en Espagne), was recorded in the Roman de la Rose in the 13th century and translated into English about 1365.

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