Meaning of build in English:


Pronunciation /bɪld/

See synonyms for build

Translate build into Spanish

verbpast participle verb built/bɪlt/

[with object]
  • 1Construct (something) by putting parts or material together.

    ‘the ironworks were built in 1736’
    • ‘A swarm of bees cooperates to construct a hive. Humans group together to build towns, cities, and nations.’
    • ‘They were fun, but what I remember was that Papa got down on the floor with me and we built things together.’
    • ‘A small fort was built out of the material of the stranded vessel and a crew left in charge of it to start a small settlement on the island.’
    • ‘The centre is built entirely of sustainable materials, and produces its own energy through a wind turbine and solar panel.’
    • ‘I believe that a wind turbine only needs to operate for three months to offset the energy used for raw materials that built it.’
    • ‘Indian and French scientists will work together to build a new weather satellite, according to the BBC.’
    • ‘Most important, the material used to build the levy was inferior from onset.’
    • ‘In the dining area, three of the owners of the house discuss how their everyday activism led them to build this home together.’
    • ‘Swallows build nests by packing together bits of mud with their sticky saliva.’
    • ‘On the domestic front, plants provide the materials from which we build our houses and landscape our gardens.’
    • ‘They invite people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need.’
    • ‘The main reason for the use of cheaper fuels at Lafarge is surely to cut costs and so provide cheap building materials to build our homes.’
    • ‘Many of the materials to build the cabins halfway up the mountain were carried in to the secret location on foot.’
    • ‘He braved the Great War to reach men and materials to build the chapel here.’
    • ‘The rest of the structure is built from all natural materials.’
    • ‘That summer, the two had built a fort together between their two houses.’
    • ‘The connected structures are built from recycled materials and rest on stilts above Darby Creek.’
    • ‘Village houses are built close together, and farmers walk to their fields outside the village.’
    • ‘Kammu houses are built close together in the village, located on a hilltop or halfway up a mountain.’
    • ‘In towns, more houses are built with imported materials such as concrete block and corrugated iron.’
    construct, erect, put up, assemble, set up, raise
    make, construct, fabricate, form, manufacture, create, fashion, model, mould, shape, forge
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Commission, finance, and oversee the building of (something)
      ‘the county council plans to build a bypass’
      • ‘The $1 million facility was built and financed by the town and is being leased by Mediplan.’
      • ‘Mrs Jones said that at the moment the PCT would not be able to finance the cost of building a new facility.’
      • ‘It's hopeless for the Housing Commission to build estates of this kind.’
      • ‘The NSW Housing Commission built thousands of homes for low-income earners.’
      • ‘He drew up plans for a small pocket watch and commissioned a friend to build it for him.’
      • ‘The developers agreed to pay for the bridge while Laois County Council designed and built it.’
      • ‘Ultimately public school districts across the country will finance and build schools like these.’
      • ‘Other councils which had built pools were to be asked about finance and procedures.’
      • ‘The organisation also makes the case against the increasing use of Private Finance Initiatives to build new hospitals.’
      • ‘At one stage the county council was planning to build new courts but it now intends to refurbish the present buildings.’
      • ‘The hospital was built under a private finance deal involving the Bank of Scotland, BICC and Morrison Construction.’
      • ‘Ambitious plans to restore Otley Bridge and build a new footbridge have been launched by town councillors.’
      • ‘She said the 500 new nursing home places being built by Hampshire County Council would help alleviate the problem.’
      • ‘The group could not get permission to paint a mural on an existing structure so, the county council built the wall on Woodlands Drive.’
      • ‘And, to solve the parking problems in the town, the council plans to build a car park on land behind the Vale Of The White Horse Club.’
      • ‘The council plans to build a children's centre on the site.’
      • ‘However, their lovingly nurtured plots could be swallowed up by Eastleigh Council's plans to build hundreds of homes.’
      • ‘Cheshire County Council may build a dual carriageway passing within an estimated 200 yards of the property.’
      • ‘I also took the chance while I was in town to get an update on the City Council's plan to build a water recycling plant.’
      • ‘Last fall, Toronto city council approved plans to build a bridge to the island airport and expand a terminal.’
    2. 1.2Computing Compile (a program, database, index, etc.)
      ‘you can build database applications without writing any code’
      • ‘We're building a huge online database of how the human race looks at life, how it works, thinks and responds.’
      • ‘KSycoca reads all configuration files and builds a binary database which can be accessed much faster than the individual, text-based files.’
      • ‘The software basically enables you to build a database of different movies.’
      • ‘The program builds its list of files and directories based on your home directory.’
      • ‘The two programs can be built by running the Makefile in this directory.’
  • 2Make stronger or more intense.

    ‘we built up confidence in our abilities’
    • ‘Kenmare Golf Club has built up a strong and solid reputation over the years.’
    • ‘The track built up the anticipation before bouncing around and around the Jazz Café's walls and into the ears.’
    • ‘On the afternoon of 4 November 1973, intense thunderstorms built up west of Brisbane.’
    • ‘The play avoids predictable paths. It is not a thriller -- though the tension builds inexorably.’
    • ‘It really doesn't matter what type of exercise, if it is done at moderate intensity for as long as possible, and is built up gradually.’
    • ‘This can be built up over the day, for example two 15-minute cycles.’
    • ‘The excitement will be built up through the tournament, peaking at the Super Sixes and the finals.’
    • ‘A strong swell has built up on the East Coast due to a week of onshore winds making conditions more unpredictable than usual.’
    • ‘It suggests that the social world and its categories are not external to us, but are built up and constituted in and through interaction.’
    • ‘Judy Fox's figurative ceramic sculptures exude an aggregate energy that is built up over time.’
    • ‘The amount of rubbish that's built up over the years is staggering.’
    • ‘The intense fire that resulted built up enormous pressure in the hall, forcing thick black smoke under those bedroom doors that were shut.’
    • ‘Séan, on the other hand, will be to the fore in the new business, having built up a wealth of experience over the years.’
    • ‘He was widely credited with rescuing DA after joining in 1999 and built up a strong technology portfolio.’
    • ‘Over the course of its run, hundreds of Scottish lawyers have been interviewed and the show had built up a strong specialist following.’
    • ‘The Upper Deck has been attracting good support and has now built up a strong Sunday night following for live music.’
    • ‘They came together in 1993 and soon built up a strong reputation in folk clubs and festivals around the country.’
    • ‘Rovers win should not surprise as they have built up a very strong forward line over the off-season.’
    • ‘A member of very strong team of athletes he has made many good friends through the club and has built up a strong camaraderie with all of them.’
    • ‘For two solid years Derek and I had built up such a strong bond with that song.’
    boost, strengthen, increase, improve, invigorate, augment, raise, intensify, enhance, escalate, multiply, swell
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1no object Become stronger or more intense.
      • ‘the air of excited anticipation builds’
    2. 2.2Establish and develop (a business or situation) over a period of time.
      ‘they need to build a strong relationship with journal users’
      • ‘people scrimp and save to build a better life for their children’
      • ‘Mr Hussain built up the business when he took over in April last year after a previous arson attack caused £500,000 of damage.’
      • ‘The prize-winning herd, established in 1964, was built up to 70 cows, plus followers.’
      • ‘Scots settled across the Empire as it developed and built up their own communities such as Dunedin in New Zealand.’
      • ‘This is the period when we built up the institutions of democratic government and tried to act according to certain norms of propriety.’
      • ‘They are very capable and the business has built up substantially.’
      • ‘He has prospered after building a successful business, but he never forgets the needs of the Bangladeshi.’
      • ‘But clearly building a business case around this would not be a long term, sustainable strategy.’
      • ‘Mr Harrison said the challenge was to continue strengthening the team to maintain the high standards on which the business had been built.’
      • ‘His background in management helped him to build a saw-milling business 15 years ago.’
      • ‘She has given us the ideas on which we have built a very significant period of government in the latter part of the 20th century.’
      • ‘But in 35 years of marriage, the Whites had built up a farming business worth almost £5m.’
      • ‘It has built its business on developing close ties with large corporations via thousands of field and outbound call sales representatives.’
      • ‘Tommy has been there four years and he has built up a very strong relationship with the players.’
      • ‘Yes, I have several pensions, which I have built up over a period of years, offering differing annuities.’
      • ‘This means that operators are increasingly looking first at customer needs and then building a business case to launch a service.’
      • ‘His family had for generations been in the textile industry, first in wool and then cotton, and had built up a major business in East Lancashire.’
      • ‘Over the years they have built up a strong network of close friends who are a solid support system.’
      • ‘John settled down to family life with his wife Julie and young children and built up a property development business.’
      • ‘While few will have the chance to build a business of this size so quickly, many will share the frustrations of being let down by those thought of as loyal supporters.’
      • ‘Mr Moore and Mr Hill had strong family ties built up over years, Mr Hill living in a settled relationship with Mr Moore's daughter.’
      establish, found, set up, originate, institute, start, begin, inaugurate, initiate, put in place, constitute, secure
      establish, set up, form, found, institute, start, begin, bring into being, create, inaugurate, organize
      View synonyms


  • 1mass noun The proportions of a person's or animal's body.

    ‘she was of medium height and slim build’
    • ‘he had an ideal build for a sprinter’
    • ‘Katherine is described as 5ft 4ins tall and of slim build, with shoulder length brown hair and blue eyes.’
    • ‘Judging by their build and scarred bodies, they had definitely seen a few fights in an earlier life.’
    • ‘Shymala enjoys the facility and vivacity frequently seen in small dancers, tidy in build, ideally proportioned.’
    • ‘In fact, all sorts of combinations go into the mix to produce the ideal technique for each individual body build.’
    • ‘All men have the same eyes, the same ears, the same body, the same build, a compound of earth, air, fire, and water.’
    • ‘The suspects are all males between 15 and 20, of slim to medium build.’
    • ‘She was a woman of average height, had an athletic body build, and was very attractive.’
    • ‘His striped tail was more than half the size of his body and his build seemed kind of stocky.’
    • ‘The man holding the pistol was described by staff as white, tall and of proportionate build.’
    • ‘The man was white, believed to be under 40 years old and of medium to slim build.’
    • ‘I wonder whether trying to get his body into that fantastic build has affected him with strains and pulls.’
    • ‘The first attacker is described as male, in his early 20s and of mixed race, around 6ft in height and of slim build.’
    • ‘The first suspect is described as a male, 6ft tall and of proportionate build, 25 years old.’
    • ‘The first of two men involved in the theft was described as in his early forties, 5ft 10 in, clean shaven and of slim build.’
    • ‘Both men were white, slim to medium build and had dark hair.’
    • ‘So far, she has been able to tell officers that her attacker was either Asian or of mixed race, had a slim and muscular build and short dark hair.’
    • ‘He is described as white, aged 25 to 30 with a slim to stocky build and spoke with a local accent.’
    • ‘The youth is described as dark skinned, of slim, athletic build, with dark, short hair.’
    • ‘Mr Jones is 5ft 11in tall, of proportionate build, with brown eyes and cropped black hair.’
    • ‘His build and his style are suited to hill running, but it also seems to be something he wants to do.’
    physique, frame, body, figure, form, structure, shape, make-up, formation, stature
    View synonyms
  • 2The style or form of construction of something, especially a vehicle.

    ‘the car's high specification and impressive build quality’
    • ‘Reliability shouldn't be a problem either, the manufacturer having a good build quality these days.’
    • ‘On the build quality front, though, they're all square and both are excellent.’
    • ‘The public have realised that the build quality on the cars is high and that the prices give them great value for money.’
    • ‘A simple glance at the long slim solid looking rectangular battery pack demonstrates a quality build.’
    • ‘The Polo impresses immediately by the quality and solidity of its build.’
    • ‘There's nothing particularly clever about the build of the site.’
    • ‘What impresses me most about this latest Malibu is the build quality.’
    • ‘The build quality of the equipment from Sea-Lion is superb and they are committed to research and development in a big way.’
    • ‘The build quality was up to scratch, the cars looked gorgeous and came, of course, with those pacy motors.’
    • ‘It costs about the same as a Freelander new but tends to hold its value better, a testament to its build quality.’
    • ‘Excellent build quality, attractive lines and some clever features add up to luxury housing for your PC bits.’
    • ‘You have to appreciate the extra leg-room and the build quality (especially in the cabin).’
    • ‘Take the build quality - superb for a car in this segment.’
    • ‘The Volvo has space, understated style, build quality and practicality.’
    • ‘Drivers can be assured that the build quality is going to be second to none and the badge is just as prestigious as anything to come out of Germany.’
    • ‘Although she was built in 1976, her excellent condition attests to both the build quality and the good care taken of her.’
    • ‘The build quality compares favourably with my car, and it is much better than the last 9-3 convertible.’
    • ‘Excellent build quality combined with a surprising amount of cabin and boot space makes this a highly practical city car.’
    • ‘Its performance and fuel consumption go a long way towards offsetting its high price and its build quality is second to none.’
    • ‘Tranzit Group reports a high degree of satisfaction with both the Volvo components and the designline build.’
    pattern, form, shape, format, structure, configuration, construction, frame, build, model, design, arrangement, organization, formation, figure, cast, kind, brand, make, line, type, cut, style
    View synonyms
  • 3Computing
    A compiled version of a program.

    ‘a beta build of the program’
    • ‘For workstations, standard system builds or images with commonly used software should be established for groups of users.’
    • ‘They have slightly different builds and firmware, and they work differently.’
    • ‘Both provide native builds and clear, intuitive installers.’
    • ‘In many cases, these are the very latest versions of these browsers (not counting nightly builds, of course).’
    • ‘The script can also append status reports to an HTML page visible to everyone so programmers and testers can quickly determine which builds were successful.’
    1. 3.1mass noun The process of compiling a program.
      ‘The LinuxBIOS build process bears little resemblance to the Linux kernel build process.’
      • ‘He said, though, Microsoft hoped to resolve these kinds of problems in the future by moving testing into the software build process.’
      • ‘Yet there is rarely enough time set aside for that in the software build process.’
      • ‘To add a new driver to the kernel build process, a single line needs to be added if the driver is contained within a single file.’
      • ‘We have defensively incorporated these checks into our internal build processes.’
      • ‘Everything you ship to customers should be produced by the daily build process.’
      • ‘The build process can take awhile and doesn't produce a great deal of output to the screen.’
      • ‘If you have both MySQL and SQLite on your system, support is compiled for both at build time.’
      • ‘You can use the editor of your choice to edit the file, and the PHP build process continues when you are done.’
      • ‘It seems that the trojan is executed during build only.’


    build one's hopes up
    • Become ever more hopeful or optimistic about something.

      ‘don't build your hopes up, Julia, you'll only get hurt’
      • ‘We had been building our hopes up of getting into the Premiership, but then had it snatched away from us at the very end.’
      • ‘You know at every stage of in vitro fertilisation that treatment could fail so it's best not to build your hopes up.’
      • ‘I knew I would walk again although I was told not to build my hopes up too high.’
      • ‘Steve was disappointed, but he had been intelligent enough to read between the lines, so he hadn't built his hopes up.’
      • ‘She said: ‘I don't want to get over-excited and build my hopes up but I hope this will change my life.’’
      • ‘After building your hopes up on Friday for an exciting weekend to come I must apologise for disappointing you.’
      • ‘There's nothing I can do without the money and there's no point in getting all excited and building my hopes up and not being able to go at the end of the day.’
      • ‘And I'm trying not to think about reproductive issues - I've been here before building my hopes up only to have them dashed.’
      • ‘Then, when he dared to build his hopes up again after making it back for Scotland's summer tour of the southern hemisphere, he wrecked his ankle in the opening half hour of the trip.’
      • ‘Why do we bother building our hopes up over the England team?’
    built on sand
    • Without reliable foundations or any real substance.

      ‘with the benefit of hindsight it can be seen that his argument was built on sand’
      • ‘what more could you expect from a relationship built upon sand?’
      • ‘The whole school system is built on sand because it is trying to teach children who lack social stability.’
      • ‘It is only in the hindsight that life reveals whether the foundation is built on sand or stone.’
      • ‘Your Honour, I want to emphasise, this is a foundation built on sand.’
      • ‘We must recognise, however, as many modern philosophers have done, that the bases are at least as likely to be built on sand as they are on rock.’
      • ‘Drama develops out of a crisis when Marchbanks declares his love for Candida to Morell, who suddenly realises that the foundations of his marriage are built on sand.’
      • ‘But just as important, the arguments supporting the policy are unraveling and there is increasing awareness that its rationale is built on sand.’
      • ‘At the same time, if we have interpreted that event wrongly in the sense that there is no discontinuity discoverable there, the rest of the endeavor would probably be built on sand.’
      • ‘Does he recognise that the house built on rock, i.e., a solid infrastructure, will endure while that built on sand (promises and promises) will surely fall?’
      • ‘His kingship is built on sand, witches and puppeteers pull his strings, and Lady Macbeth shouts at him like a fish wife when he forgets to deposit his murder weapons on Duncan's guards.’
      • ‘When your faith brings you more downs than ups you probably have ‘blind faith’ (faith that is not well grounded - a house built on sand, to borrow a phrase).’

Phrasal Verbs

    build in
    • build something in, build in somethingIncorporate something and make it a permanent part of a structure, system, or situation.

      ‘engineers want to build in extra traction’
      • ‘The universe may not seem to make any more sense to you if your cosmogony is scientific rather than religious in nature, but in the end there is no escape from the fact that in the evolution of living systems the bias is built in.’
      • ‘But in every other way, this particular pontificate has been very much a pontificate that has given great respect and credence to women, and has built their participation into the structures.’
      • ‘But they have already paid the huge costs of building a complete infrastructure and have built the fees into their rate structures.’
      • ‘Values drive our performance and we have built these values in our performance management system and employee performance is assessed on them.’
      • ‘We take the view that it is unethical to make a profit from incarceration, and that to do so necessarily builds inflationary pressures into the system.’
      • ‘Although he's clearly still at the rules stage of building the structure into this young garden, Conran is impatient to get on with the fun of messing.’
      • ‘Mr Ratcliffe, who operates the facility, regards it as a tool for farmers to build efficiencies into their systems.’
      • ‘That's why the designers of computer vision systems build those assumptions into their programs, and presumably that's why evolution built those assumptions into the design of the visual cortex.’
      • ‘So, as Peter Roberts argues, we need to build a safety culture into our medical system.’
      • ‘They may find an alternative government will decide it would be cheaper to build the capacity into the public system instead.’
      • ‘A technology known as Digital Rights Management is built into the video files so that they are unplayable after a set time.’
    build on
    • build on somethingUse something as a basis for further development.

      ‘Britain should build on the talents of its workforce’
      • ‘We do have the basis to build on and are going into the match against Ireland with much more confidence.’
      • ‘In different towns, united coalitions are already being built on the basis of this appeal.’
      • ‘In the U.S. he can do research that builds on the latest developments and can produce work others will draw on.’
      • ‘This film works because it doesn't try to follow trends but builds on the skills that Pegg and the cast have developed in their television careers.’
      • ‘It is a port built on successive waves of immigration from a Babel of nations.’
      • ‘It is a strategic vision for the Aire Valley which builds on what is already there to transform and improve a part of the district which has huge potential.’
      • ‘Vishal builds on this by coming up with one of the most refined scripts ever seen in Bollywood.’
      • ‘As I say, it's an area of my game that's improving all the time and I need to keep building on it.’
      • ‘That is a position which is already beginning to improve and we want to build on that momentum.’
      • ‘The new owners plan to keep expanding the firm and want to build on its reputation.’
      • ‘We now have a solid base to build on and we have the capacity and skills to improve.’
      • ‘This Budget builds on the framework established to support and promote future economic development.’
      • ‘This revision reflects changes and developments over the last year and builds on input from key operational partners.’
      • ‘We are currently developing an educational intervention that builds on these findings.’
      • ‘It builds on the classical results in the calculus developed by Hilbert and his students.’
      • ‘The women develop a real sense of solidarity and gradually build on their spirit of resistance.’
      • ‘You are not developing any understanding that you can build on to teach him other things.’
      • ‘Drucker runs a business empire built on animal cloning technology, and has many enemies.’
      • ‘Scale it up and you can see even entire revolutions being built on top of this shallow base.’
      • ‘Much of their success this term has been built on solid defensive foundations.’
    build up
    • 1build something up, build up somethingAssemble or accumulate something by putting parts or material together.

      ‘he was an obsessive collector of paintings, drawings, and sculpture, and he built up a huge collection’
      • ‘over the years she has built up a lot of contacts from her travels’
      1. 1.1build something up, build up somethingEstablish and develop an organization or situation over a period of time.
        ‘he'd built up the store from nothing’
        • ‘you've worked so hard to build up a business’
        establish, set up, form, found, institute, start, begin, bring into being, create, inaugurate, organize
        View synonyms
      2. 1.2build someone or something up, build up someone or somethingPromote or support someone or something.
        ‘the media only build you up so that they can take you down’
        • ‘she constantly built him up and boosted his confidence’
    • 2build someone or something up, build up someone or somethingMake a person or their body stronger.

      ‘if you want to build yourself up you can go to the gym’
      • ‘physical exercise builds up your muscles’
      boost, strengthen, increase, improve, invigorate, augment, raise, intensify, enhance, escalate, multiply, swell
      View synonyms
    • 3Become stronger or more intense; grow or accumulate.

      ‘I felt tears building up in my eyes’
      • ‘harmful chemicals build up in a fire’
      • ‘so much mistrust has built up over the years’
    build up to
    • Prepare with increasing intensity for a significant point or event.

      • ‘the film builds up to a great climax’


Old English byldan, from bold, botl ‘dwelling’, of Germanic origin; related to bower.