What is the meaning of "build off of"? I Googled it, but can't find any definition!

I encountered it in the sentence in a technical book. The sentence is:

For the application we will build, the todos example is the closest fit, so we'll go ahead and build off of that example.

There is a link related to it I found by Google, But it didn't give the definition!

build off of vs build on


3 Answers 3


Build off of is wrong. It even sounds wrong. Build on is your man.

The reason you won't find a definition for build off of, is because it is meaningless.

  • I'll upvote this because it seems more like the "correct answer" than the accepted one. But I still think the question is a dup that should be closed because it's the same as earlier “Based on” instead of “based off of”. Jan 29, 2013 at 22:18
  • 4
    Rather prescriptivist attitude. People use this "wrong" phrase all the time. Jan 31, 2013 at 3:48
  • People misuse apostrophes all the time too. Jan 31, 2013 at 8:11
  • 1
    People make invalid comparisons all the time, too. Seriously though, misusing an apostrophe is just that: misuse (though even there, the rules have changed back and forth several times, so what you consider misuse might well be what someone else was taught in school, 80 years ago). "Build off of", on the other hand, is not misuse by any measure. It is perfectly legal use of the language. A grammatically, syntactically and semantically sound construction. Saying that "it's meaningless" is an outright lie. You might not like it, but even you were perfectly able to say what it means.
    – RegDwigнt
    Jun 6, 2013 at 20:00
  • Oh, and for every person who objects to "off of" there are ten that object to "The reason is because", and yet you're happily using in your answer.
    – RegDwigнt
    Jun 6, 2013 at 20:03

Build off of is a completely common tri-part phrasal verb. The reason that you have not found a definition is that we still struggling with these creatures in terms of defining them. In the States, we use about 300 of these as common terms. Build off of means just that "to develop from" or "elaborate on".


A colloquial way of saying "Construct from a foundation", generally used in a figurative way. That is, if you were actually making a building, you probably wouldn't say "We're going to build off the foundation", because that's obvious. Here, the author is signifying that one particular example will be the root of the general solution.

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