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built like a tank

Having a physique or structure that is strong and physically imposing. Man, you're built like a tank! You'd be a great addition to the football team as a linebacker! If you're going out in this snow, take my car—it's built like a tank!
See also: built, like, tank

be built like a brick shithouse

1. slang To be very muscular and strong. Bert is built like a brick shithouse, so get him to help you move all this furniture!
2. slang To be very buxom and curvaceous. Mary has a great body—she's built like a brick shithouse.
See also: brick, built, like, shithouse

be built on sand

To be unstable. A relationship based entirely on physical attraction is built on sand and won't last long.
See also: built, on, sand

built like a brick outhouse

 and built like a brick shithouse
Fig. well-built-either strong or full-sized. (Built more strongly than is typical. The second form is potentially offensive. Use only with discretion.) Look at that guy's muscles—he's built like a brick shithouse. This garage is built like a brick outhouse. It'll last for years.
See also: brick, built, like

made to order

made to one's own measurements and on request. (See also make something to order.) This suit fits so well because it's made to order. His feet are so big that all his shoes have to be made to order.
See also: made, order

Rome was not built in a day.

Prov. It takes a lot of time to achieve something important. Professor: When will you finish your research project? Student: It'll take me a while. Rome wasn't built in a day, you know.
See also: built, not, Rome

build in something

also build something in
to include a feature when something is being put together You should build in some way to cancel the contract if things don't work out. Software developers built in a word processor.
See also: build

be built like a brick shithouse

  (British & Australian very informal!)
if someone is built like a brick shithouse, they are very strong and very big I wasn't going to argue with him - he was built like a brick shithouse.
See also: brick, built, like, shithouse

be built like a tank

if a person or a vehicle is built like a tank, they are very strong and very big These cars are built like tanks. I should imagine he's pretty strong - he's built like a tank.
See also: built, like, tank

be built on sand

if something is built on sand, it is not firmly established and is likely to fail They seem quite happy now but I have a feeling that this marriage is built on sand.
See also: built, on, sand

Rome wasn't built in a day.

something that you say which means that it takes a long time to do an important job 'Sometimes it feels like we've spent all our lives decorating this house.' 'Well, Rome wasn't built in a day.'
See also: built, Rome

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

made to order

Also, built to order. Very suitable, as in Her new assignment was built to order for her. In its literal use, this idiom refers to an item fashioned according to particular instructions. [Mid-1900s]
See also: made, order

not built that way

Not so disposed or inclined, as in I can't apologize for something I didn't do-I'm just not built that way. [Late 1800s]
See also: built, not, way

Rome wasn't built in a day

Important work takes time. This expression functions as an injunction or plea for someone to be patient. For example, You can't expect her to finish this project in the time allotted; Rome wasn't built in a day . This phrase was a French proverb in the late 1100s but was not recorded in English until 1545.
See also: built, Rome

build in

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

built like a brick shithouse

1. mod. pertaining to a very strong and well-built person. (Usually refers to a male. Refers to the sturdiness of an outhouse [outdoor toilet] built of brick rather than the traditional wooden outhouse. Usually objectionable.) Chuck is built like a brick shithouse. The only fat on him is where his brain ought to be.
2. mod. pertaining to a beautiful and curvaceous woman. (Refers to the imagined curving and uneven walls of an outhouse built hastily and carelessly of brick. This sense is a misinterpretation of the first sense. Usually objectionable.) Look at that dame! She’s really built like a brick shithouse.
See also: brick, built, like, shithouse


mod. carelessly and awkwardly built. The lawyer’s case was jerry-built, but the jury bought it anyway.

jerry built

Constructed in a cheap, ramshackle, or otherwise insubstantial fashion. Although the phrase is widely thought to have come from the British World War I slang term for “German,” it well antedates the 20th century. Some possibilities are an old English word for tumble, Jericho (as in Joshua causing the walls to come tumbling down).
See also: built, Jerry
References in classic literature ?
But there were other companies, probably a thousand or more, which were organized by promoters who built their hopes on the fact that the Bell Companies were unpopular, and on the myth that they were fabulously rich.
Some of these duplicate companies built up a complete plant, and gave good local service, while others proved to be mere stock bubbles.
It has been built up without the backing of any great bank or multi-millionaire.
For it happened to him, as to Phoenix and Cilix, that other homeless people visited the spot, and liked it, and built themselves habitations in the neighborhood.
And now the city was built, and there was a home in it for each of the workmen.
It was built of marble and other beautiful kinds of stone, and rose high into the air, with a splendid dome and a portico along the front, and carved pillars, and everything else that befitted the habitation of a mighty king.
And as John Clayton wrote the last words his hand was destined ever to pen, he dropped his head wearily upon his outstretched arms where they rested upon the table he had built for her who lay still and cold in the bed beside him.
When bees have a place on which they can stand in their proper positions for working,--for instance, on a slip of wood, placed directly under the middle of a comb growing downwards so that the comb has to be built over one face of the slip--in this case the bees can lay the foundations of one wall of a new hexagon, in its strictly proper place, projecting beyond the other completed cells.
It is impossible here to enter into all the necessary details, but I venture to defy [12] any one to explain in any other manner how it is possible that numerous islands should be distributed throughout vast areas -- all the islands being low -- all being built of corals, absolutely requiring a foundation within a limited depth from the surface.
We can also perceive, that a line drawn perpendicularly down from the outer edge of the new reef, to the foundation of solid rock beneath the old fringing-reef, will exceed by as many feet as there have been feet of subsidence, that small limit of depth at which the effective corals can live: -- the little architects having built up their great wall-like mass, as the whole sank down, upon a basis formed of other corals and their consolidated fragments.
I built the chimney after my hoeing in the fall, before a fire became necessary for warmth, doing my cooking in the meanwhile out of doors on the ground, early in the morning: which mode I still think is in some respects more convenient and agreeable than the usual one.
we do like cowbirds and cuckoos, which lay their eggs in nests which other birds have built, and cheer no traveller with their chattering and unmusical notes.
Before winter I built a chimney, and shingled the sides of my house, which were already impervious to rain, with imperfect and sappy shingles made of the first slice of the log, whose edges I was obliged to straighten with a plane.
Another old chateau in the neighbourhood, built in the fourteenth century by Jean de Belmont, was also abandoned, so that that part of the country was very little inhabited.
From the fragment of rock upon which he had seated himself, to the raised stone terrace in front of the house, was an absolutely straight path, beautifully kept like an avenue, with white posts on either side, and built up to a considerable height above the broad tidal way which ran for some distance by its side.