building


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build castles in the sky

To create dreams, hopes, or plans that are impossible, unrealistic, or have very little chance of succeeding. You need sound financial advice and a strong plan if you're going to start your own business—don't just build castles in the sky.
See also: build, castle, sky

build castles in Spain

To create dreams, hopes, or plans that are impossible, unrealistic, or have very little chance of succeeding. You need sound financial advice and a strong plan if you're going to start your own business—don't just build castles in Spain.
See also: build, castle, Spain

confidence-building measure

Any action taken to eliminate or reduce the fear of attack or escalation of conflict between two or more parties, as in international politics, interpersonal communication, business interactions, etc. The term is usually pluralized. The two countries, long on the brink of all-out war, have introduced several confidence-building measures between their governments to facilitate better communication and hopefully avert the need for a military offensive by either side. One of our goals in marriage counseling is to create confidence-building measures between spouses, so that each person learns to communicate their frustrations before they turn into a source of conflict.
See also: measure

Elvis has left the building

Said when an event or performance has come to an end, or when someone or something has left a place, especially in a dramatic fashion. The phrase refers to an announcement famously made at the end of Elvis Presley concerts alerting people that he vacated the premises and no further encores would be played. We kept waiting for the band to come back on stage to perform some of the fans' favorite songs, but it looked like Elvis had left the building. That ball is flying, and it looks like... yes, it's a homerun! Elvis has left the building, folks!
See also: building, left

build a case against (someone or something)

To compile evidence that supports an argument or charges against someone or something. The job of the prosecutor is to build a case against the defendant. We're trying to build a case against the company because many employees have been wrongly terminated.
See also: build, case

build bridges

To connect disparate people or groups. The senator was working to build bridges between the two parties on the contentious issue. A lingua franca is used to build bridges between people who do not speak the same language.
See also: bridge, build

build castles in the air

To create dreams, hopes, or plans that are impossible, unrealistic, or have very little chance of succeeding. You need sound financial advice and a strong plan if you're going to start your own business—don't just build castles in the air.
See also: air, build, castle

build down

To decrease or lessen. That group encourages the government to build down on wasteful spending. Give the traffic some time to build down before you leave the office—otherwise, you'll just sit on the highway for an hour.
See also: build, down

build (one's) hopes on (someone or something)

To have expectations that are tied to the success, performance, etc., of a particular person or thing. Why are we building our hopes on him when we know he's not popular enough to defeat the incumbent? I had built my hopes on this promotion and was crushed when I didn't get it.
See also: build, hope, on

build in

To include something as a fundamental component of something else. A noun can be used between "build" and "in" or after "in." Be sure to build in some extra time for questions from the audience. There's hardly any storage in the house right now, so we asked the contractor to build more shelves in.
See also: build

build into (something)

1. To include something as a fundamental component of something else. A noun can be used between "build" and "into." What new features did they build into this app update? Be sure to build time for audience questions into your presentation.
2. To give someone an essential role in something. A noun can be used between "build" and "into." Of course that company isn't hiring—the CEO has built all of his pals into every department!
See also: build

build on(to) (something)

To use something as a foundation and expand upon or add to it. A noun can be used between "build" and "on(to)." This kitchen is far too small—we'll need to build an addition onto it. And to build on Katie's point about romanticism in the text, the description of nature at the beginning of chapter 2 is a fine example of that.
See also: build

build out of (something)

To assemble or construct something from a certain material. The construction crew plans to build the wall out of bricks.
See also: build, of, out

build out onto (something)

To expand or extend a structure or building into a certain area. Our neighbors had to get a permit to build out onto the undeveloped tract behind their house.
See also: build, out

build (something) out over (something)

To extend a structure or building over a particular area or thing. The house is famous for building an outdoor area out over a waterfall.
See also: build, out

build to order

To construct or assemble something in accordance with specific parameters (usually from a buyer). A noun can be used between "build" and "to." The client must be rich if he wants us to build the boat to order!
See also: build, order

build up

1. verb To increase something gradually. A noun or pronoun can be used between "build" and "up" or after "up." I've been putting $50 aside every month in an attempt to build up my savings.
2. verb To encourage or flatter someone. A noun or pronoun can be used between "build" and "up" or after "up." Not getting that job left my son really discouraged, so I've been trying to build him up.
3. verb To become stronger or more muscular. A noun or pronoun can be used between "build" and "up" or after "up." I'm trying to build up my leg muscles so that I can run even faster.
4. verb To develop an area with more buildings or businesses. A noun or pronoun can be used between "build" and "up" or after "up." Wow, they've really built up that part of town—I remember when it was just a field!
5. verb To greatly raise expectations for something by praising or hyping it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "build" and "up" or after "up." I thought that movie was really disappointing, possibly because my friends told me how amazing it was and built it up too much.
6. verb To accumulate over time. A noun or pronoun can be used between "build" and "up" or after "up." You should wash your hair every day, unless you want oily residue building up. The dirty laundry is really building up—when was the last time you did the wash?
7. noun An accumulation of something. The phrase is often hyphenated in this usage. I use so many products in my hair that I need to wash the build-up out at the end of the day. It looks like you've got a lot of build-up around the filter. It should run fine after I clean it.
See also: build, up

build up a head of steam

To gain momentum or the energy needed to move forward. The protests against the corrupt organization built up a head of steam when the national media started covering the story. You can't make the jump standing still—you'll need to build up a head of steam.
See also: build, head, of, steam, up

build up to (something)

1. To reach something gradually. I know you're building up to your point, but you're also putting your audience to sleep. You can't just walk into the gym and grab the 50-pound weights—you need to build up to that!
2. To become or develop into something gradually. The issues that you're trying to ignore in your relationship will build up to serious problems in time.
See also: build, up

(as) busy as a beaver (building a new dam)

Very busy, assiduous, or hardworking. The phrase refers to beavers' reputation for being extremely industrious. Between working two part-time jobs, volunteering on the weekends, and looking after his little brother, Sam's been busy as a beaver this summer. I've been as busy as a beaver building a new dam this year. I've had almost no free time!
See also: beaver, busy, new

build castles in the air

 and build castles in Spain
Fig. to daydream; to make plans that can never come true. Ann spends most of her time building castles in Spain. I really like to sit on the porch in the evening, just building castles in the air.
See also: air, build, castle

build down

[for traffic] to reduce in volume or diminish. At about six, the going-home traffic begins to build down. When traffic builds down, I leave for home.
See also: build, down

build someone or something up

 
1. Lit. to make someone or something bigger or stronger. Tom is lifting weights to build himself up for basketball. Tom needs to build up his upper body.
2. Fig. to advertise, praise, or promote someone or something. Theatrical agents work very hard to build up their clients. Advertising can build a product up so much that everyone will want it.
See also: build, up

build someone or something up (into someone or something)

to develop or advance someone or something into a particular [desirable] kind of person or thing. The publicity people built her up into a singer whom everyone looked forward to hearing. The agent built up the local band into a top national act.
See also: build, up

build someone or something up (into someone or something)

to develop or advance someone or something into a particular [desirable] kind of person or thing. The publicity people built her up into a singer whom everyone looked forward to hearing. The agent built up the local band into a top national act.
See also: build, up

build someone up (for something)

Fig. to prepare someone for something; to bring a person into a state of mind to accept some information. We built them up for the challenge they were to face. We had to build up the woman before breaking the bad news.
See also: build, up

build something to order

to build an individual object according to a special set of specifications. I am having them build a new house to order—just for us. The car will be built to order.
See also: build, order

build something up

 
1. Lit. to add buildings to an area of land or a neighborhood. They are really building this area up. There is no more open space. They built up the area over the years.
2. Fig. to develop, accumulate, or increase something, such as wealth, business, goodwill, etc. I built this business up through hard work and hope. She built up a good business over the years.
3. Fig. to praise or exalt something; to exaggerate the virtues of something. The master of ceremonies built the act up so much that everyone was disappointed when they saw it. He built up the act too much.
See also: build, up

build up

to increase; to develop. The storm clouds are building up. Better close the windows.
See also: build, up

build down

Reduce, diminish, as in Owing to increased vigilance, traffic in narcotics is finally building down. This term, the antonym of build up, came into use about 1980 with regard to reducing the stockpile of nuclear weapons and soon was applied more widely.
See also: build, down

build in

Also, build into. Construct or include as an integral part; also, make automatic, concomitant, or inherent. For example, Frank Lloyd Wright liked to build in as much furniture as possible, not just bookcases but desks, tables, and the like , or We've got to build some slack into the schedule for this project. The literal usage referring to physical objects dates from the late 1920s. The figurative arose a decade or so later. Both are frequently used in past participle form, that is, built in.
See also: build

build up

1. Fill an area with houses or other buildings, urbanize. For example, We want to protect the wetlands against those who want to build up the area. [c. 1400]
2. Gradually develop, increase in stages. For example, I want to build up my endurance for the race. [Early 1700s]
3. Accumulate or collect, as in A lot of rust has built up on the farm machinery. [Mid-1900s]
4. Increase, strengthen, develop toward, as in The sound built up until it was nearly deafening, or His argument was building up to a grand climax. [c. 1930]
5. Establish or enhance a reputation; praise or flatter. For example, Months before the official campaign could begin, they had been building up the senator's image . [c. 1930]
See also: build, up

build bridges

COMMON If you build bridges between groups of people, you do something to improve the relationship between them. It was our duty to help build bridges between the communities involved. We are looking for ways to build bridges between our two organizations. Note: You can call this process bridge-building. Do all you can to develop an open mind which allows bridge-building between you. Lovett took the initiative to arrange a bridge-building luncheon at which a compromise could be agreed.
See also: bridge, build

build up a head of steam

1. If someone or something builds up a head of steam, they get enough energy or support to make something happen. Agitation for reform had built up a head of steam sufficient to make it inevitable. Note: Verbs such as work up, produce or gather can be used instead of build up. The campaign is gathering a head of steam. Note: You can also use a head of steam to talk about a situation where there is a lot of support for something. While most MPs still believe an election next year is more likely, there's an increasing head of steam behind November. They need to get a sufficient head of steam to force the Foreign Office to act on their behalf.
2. If someone builds up a head of steam, they gradually become more and more angry, anxious, or emotional about something until they can no longer hide their feelings. She had built up a head of steam while waiting to speak to him. Note: Verbs such as work up or get up can be used instead of build up. Now well into his mid-30s, Elton still manages to work up a head of steam over little things. Note: A steam engine can only work when the steam has reached a particular pressure level.
See also: build, head, of, steam, up

build in

v.
To construct or include something as an integral part of another thing: When you install the new bathroom, make sure to build in a towel rack. We didn't add shelves to the wall; we built them in when we constructed the house.
See also: build

build up

v.
1. To develop or increase something in stages or by degrees: I'm building up my endurance for the big race by running every day. We built the family business up over many years.
2. To accumulate, collect or increase: Sediment is building up on the riverbank.
3. To become bigger, stronger, or bulkier, especially through exercise: I need to build up if I'm going to make the football team this year.
4. To bolster something: The company plans to build up their new product with a big advertising campaign. The interview went well and built up my hopes for getting the job.
5. To fill some region with buildings: There was a forest here before they started building up the area. The developer bought the farmland and built it up.
See also: build, up
References in classic literature ?
They then approached, though with slow and cautious steps, pausing every instant to look at the building, like startled deer whose curiosity struggled powerfully with their awakened apprehensions for the mastery.
The line of the buildings stood clear-cut and black against the sky; here and there out of the mass rose the great chimneys, with the river of smoke streaming away to the end of the world.
Evidently, then, there were other denizens on Mars than the wild and grotesque creatures into whose hands I had fallen, but the evidences of extreme antiquity which showed all around me indicated that these buildings might have belonged to some long-extinct and forgotten race in the dim antiquity of Mars.
Here and there among the greenery were palace-like buildings, but the house and the cottage, which form such characteristic features of our own English landscape, had disappeared.
The villagers proceeded uniformly into the building, with a decorum and gravity that nothing could move, on such occasions; but with a haste that was probably a little heightened by curiosity.
Its suggestion of originality had been all but submerged by carpenters spoiled through constant work on commonplace buildings.
At my right was a door leading from the balcony into the building.
One afternoon, while Clayton was working upon an addition to their cabin, for he contemplated building several more rooms, a number of their grotesque little friends came shrieking and scolding through the trees from the direction of the ridge.
In the case of the first two the loss of life had not been considerable, but a great multitude of workers, including many girls and women, had been caught in the destruction of the Post-Office, and a little army of volunteers with white badges entered behind the firemen, bringing out the often still living bodies, for the most part frightfully charred, and carrying them into the big Monson building close at hand.
Before going to Tuskegee I had expected to find there a building and all the necessary apparatus ready for me to begin teaching.
The building of a new church, previously begun, had cost about 10,000 in each of the last two years, and he did not know how the rest, about
He wanted water more than any other thing, and so he kept on up a broad avenue toward the great central plaza, where he knew the precious fluid was to be found in a half-ruined building opposite the great palace of the ancient jeddak, who once had ruled this mighty city.
We had stuck the ends of some of the saplings into the ground in the building of our shelter, first stripping the leaves and branches from them, and when we awoke we found that many of them had thrust forth sprouts.
A few feet below him was the flat roof of the adjoining building and as he dropped to it his back was toward the niche from which an embrasure looked out upon the gardens and the forest beyond, so that he did not see the figure crouching there in the dark shadow.
He came presently to a small gate beside which was a low building and before the doorway of the building a warrior standing guard.
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