build on

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build on (something)

1. Literally, to construct or assemble (something) on top of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "build" and "on." The local council is finally allowing companies to build on the vacant plots of land on the outskirts of the city. Tom is building a new shed on the back patio.
2. To use something as a starting point upon which additional details, information, content, etc., can be formed or conceived. OK, class, let's build on Janet's idea. What else does this passage tell us about the protagonist's motivation? If the government would commit to building on the existing legislative framework instead of trying to scrap the whole thing, they could create something that truly benefited most citizens.
3. To use something as a starting point from which some new is created, such as an idea, argument, narrative, etc. A noun or pronoun can be used between "build" and "on." She built her entire argument on the data presented in scientific article that was later proven to have been falsified. The director made it clear that he was eager to build more films on the rich lore of the book series.
See also: build, on

build (up)on something

1. to construct something on a particular space. (Upon is more formal and less commonly used than on.) Are you going to build upon this land? Yes, we will build on it.
2. to start with something and add to it. (Upon is more formal and less commonly used than on.) Our progress has been good so far. Let's build on it. We will build upon the success of our forebears.
See also: build, on

build something (up)on something

1. Lit. to construct something on the base of something else. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) The ancients built their houses upon the houses of earlier people.
2. Fig. to add to and develop something that already exists. We have a good reputation and we must build on it. He has to build on his strong friendships with the customers.
See also: build, on

build something on(to) something

 and build something on
to construct an extension onto a building. We are going to build a garage onto this side of the house. We will build on a new garage. The people next door are not going to build anything on.
See also: build, on

build on(to) something

 and build on
to add to something by constructing an extension. Do you plan to build onto this house? Yes, we are going to build on.
See also: build, on

build on

Also, build upon. Add as an extension; use as a basis or foundation. For example, They decided to build on an addition, or She was building all her hopes on passing the exam. John Locke had this idiom in his treatise on government (1689): "Sovereignty built on 'property' . . . comes to nothing." [Late 1600s]
See also: build, on

build on

or build upon
1. To construct something on the base of something else: She wants to build a new house on that hill. The pioneer built a small cabin upon the plain.
2. To use something as a basis or foundation on which to develop something else: The company built its hiring policy on the principle of fairness. The efficiency of our department is built on hard work.
See also: build, on
References in periodicals archive ?
Build upon fluency If students do indeed possess tech fluency, it is incumbent for you to build upon it.
Thanks, too, to the entire membership for the opportunity to help build upon the Institute's solid foundation.
"This Alliance affords us an opportunity to build upon the already-strong cooperative relationship we enjoy with AFS," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw.
Most of the authors of this varied collection make an effort to build upon this basic answer to the question of Huguenot identity, and the result is a variable, yet unusually coherent volume.
The new contract will build upon RGII's experience providing support to the National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NESDIS).
The current debate in Congress needs to acknowledge the long-term commitment required and build upon lessons learned from existing collaborative projects.
* Modularity in storage solutions will become even more critical than it is today, as customers will want to easily build upon their previous investments and "buy-as-they-go."
To build upon these new data, the investigators say, future studies should aim at assessing the effects of exercise on both the control of the cyclical hormonal feedback that governs ovulation and the reduction of hormone levels.
service and appreciation, are allowing Omega to build upon 35 years of
MTMC's Strategy Map provides a hierarchical representation of the relationship of each strategic imperative, and how the imperatives support and build upon one another.
The Hyadeans credit their advances to their lack of questioning; where Earthly scientists get caught up in theory, the Hyadeans just accept the facts, and build upon them.
The courses are interlinked and build upon each other to form a structured curriculum.
The projects each build upon the resources of the other--for example, adding to the library of career-related materials-in effect tripling the capacity to provide optimal service to students and the community.
The new NMFS rules will build upon existing local laws on urban sprawl, water quality and shoreline management--many of which have been inadequately implemented, according to the Sierra Club's Northwest Regional Director, Bill Arthur.
* A television show-based newsletter that will build upon the show's credibility and substantial nonfiction content.