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To include someone or something as a fundamental component of something else. A noun or pronoun can be used between "build" and "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. People won't take you seriously as student council president if you just build your friends in as cabinet members.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.