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.).
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.