castles in the air


castles in the air
or, castles in Spain
also, castles in the sky

Meaning | Synonyms

  • thinking of some impossible task
  • make plans or hopes that have very little chance of happening
  • imaginary unachievable plots
  • daydreams
  • miles away

Example Sentences

  1. She keeps talking about her big-time ambitions, but it’s all castles in the air.
  2. Don’t build castles in the air, just and find some work to earn money.
  3. In order to make this business work you need to stop building castles in Spain and get to work.
  4. My brother just make the castles in the air – he does nothing.
  5. Few people want to establish a human habitation on the mars, but this is more like building castles in the sky.
  6. Daydreaming and building the castles in the sky – sometimes it can also be inspiring.
  7. You just keep making castles in the air all day long, show me some results too.


The idiom was first used in the 1500s. The idiom seems to have evolved from the original “To build castles in Spain.” Much of Spain was under Moorish control, so the idea that a castle could be built there was an unattainable dream.

The original phrase was first used in Le Roman de la Rosein the 13th century. It was translated from the original French into English in 1365.

Thou shalt make castles than in Spaine,
And dreame of joy, all but in vaine …

As time moved on the cultural reference did not make sense anymore. Thus, it was changed to “castles in the sky.” The first known use of it was by writer and translator William Painter (1540 – 1594)

Which was a building of Castels in the ayre, fantasying a thousand deuises in his minde.

The original phrase is still used in French as this is where it originated. It has also been changed to “Castles in the sky” by some users. It has the same meaning and origin.

Share your opinions4 Opinions

In each of these examples, the idiom “tower in the air” serves as a reminder to critically evaluate the practicality and feasibility of ideas, ensuring they are based on solid foundations and not mere fanciful notions.

‒ Robles María February 6, 2024

There is a Hebrew idiom, tower in the air, from between 300 ad to 500 ad in the “Talmud” , it originated from philosophical debate about the laws governing such tower and become synonyms with dealing with impractical ideas and day dreams.

‒ Gideon August 14, 2021

This was good. I am dumb that i am in college and forgot about this idiom. This was all good
but you should add some more examples.

‒ Chanel (model at vogue, college student) September 7, 2019

But still I’m not convinced so if I can get any other definition, I’ll be happy

‒ Jephthah Osei Joshua March 24, 2018

What's on your mind?