building block


Definition of building block 

: a unit of construction or composition especially : something essential on which a larger entity is based

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for building block


component, constituent, element, factor, ingredient, member



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of building block in a Sentence

historically the infantry division has been a basic building block of armies

Recent Examples on the Web

However, many believe that Mueller is using these indictments essentially as building blocks for his larger case on that central matter. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Paul Manafort’s flip is a major turning point in the Mueller investigation," 14 Sep. 2018 With building blocks around every corner, there are lampposts shaped like Tinkertoys and benches built from Lincoln Logs and K’nex pieces. Shelley Caran, ajc, "Everything you need to know about Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios," 29 June 2018 Soy and coconut aminos include building blocks like tryptophan and arginine that are essential to the formation of muscles and that supposedly remove toxins from our bodies. Kyle Beechey, Bon Appetit, "The Mysterious Hippie Food Brand That's Never Let Me Down," 27 June 2018 Those two figure to be building blocks for the program. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Big Ten power rankings: Why Michigan State is better than Michigan," 27 June 2018 Finding a permanent arena at Belmont Park and ownership hiring three-time Cup-winning Lamoriello were seen as building blocks to trying to re-sign Tavares. Stephen Whyno,, "Islanders hire Stanley Cup-winner Barry Trotz as coach," 21 June 2018 The scientists found that a proton’s building block, known as a quark, faces a pressure of 100 decillion Pascal near the center of a proton. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Pressures Inside a Proton Are More Extreme Than Inside a Neutron Star," 17 May 2018 Portugal uses couples as building blocks for his designs. Lawrence Toppman, charlotteobserver, "REVIEW: Don't dawdle at 'Spring Works' intermission or you'll miss some of the heat ... | Charlotte Observer," 26 Apr. 2018 This fluid holds heavy water, whose hydrogen atoms have a neutron along with a proton, as well as two molecules that serve as building blocks for proteins and whose nitrogen atoms hold an extra neutron. Amina Khan,, "A search for some of Earth’s most extreme creatures in the West Coast's deepest underwater canyon," 20 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'building block.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of building block

1756, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about building block

Share building block

Statistics for building block

Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for building block

The first known use of building block was in 1756

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for building block

building block


English Language Learners Definition of building block

: an important part that is grouped together with many other similar things to form something larger

More from Merriam-Webster on building block

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with building block

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for building block

Comments on building block

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


to make faulty or ineffective

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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