build on/upon

phrasal verb
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of build on/upon

1 : to use (something that has been done in the past) as a basis for further work, development, etc.
  • These classes will help students build on what they already know.
  • building upon past experiences/successes
2 : to develop or create (something) by using (something else) as its basis
  • He built his theory on recent studies.
  • Their theory is built upon her research.

Word by Word Definitions

build play
  1. : to form by ordering and uniting materials by gradual means into a composite whole : construct

  2. : to cause to be constructed

  3. : to develop according to a systematic plan, by a definite process, or on a particular base

  1. : form or mode of structure : make

upon play
  1. : on

  1. : on the surface : on it

  2. : thereafter, thereon


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up build on/upon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!