castles in the air

Cultural Dictionary

castles in the air definition


Extravagant hopes and plans that will never be carried out: “I told him he should stop building castles in the air and train for a sensible profession.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

castles in the air

Also, castles in Spain. Dreams about future success, as in Musing about the bestseller list, she was apt to build castles in the air. The first term dates from the late 1500s. The variant, castles in Spain (or chateaux en Espagne), was recorded in the Roman de la Rose in the 13th century and translated into English about 1365.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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