\ ˈbild How to pronounce build (audio) \
built\ ˈbilt How to pronounce built (audio) \; building

Definition of build

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to form by ordering and uniting materials by gradual means into a composite whole : construct birds building a nest build new hospitals and schools the boat her father built
2 : to cause to be constructed a contractor who has built hundreds of homes
3 : to develop according to a systematic plan, by a definite process, or on a particular base building a legal case against her built the organization from the ground up
4 : increase, enlarge helps build muscle build support for their candidate building friendships

intransitive verb

1 : to engage in building
2a : to progress toward a peak (as of intensity) build to a climax
b : to develop in extent a crowd building
build a fire under
: to stimulate to vigorous action
build into
: to make an integral part of build quality into the product
build on
: to use as a foundation building on past experience


plural builds

Definition of build (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : form or mode of structure : make the boxy build of the car especially : bodily conformation of a person or animal a man of stocky build
2 : a version or iteration of a product or component We worked with several builds of the beta code, which was in itself instructive. Things that worked perfectly in one version stopped working at all in the next release.— Bill Machrone et al.

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Choose the Right Synonym for build


build, construct, and erect mean to make a structure. build is used for putting together several parts or materials to form something. Workers are building the house. construct is used for the designing of something and the process of fitting its parts together. Engineers constructed a system of dams across the river. erect is used for the idea of building something that stands up. The tower was erected many years ago.

Examples of build in a Sentence


The bridge was built in the 1890s. The planes were built in Germany. The organization helps build houses for poor families. A family of birds has built a nest on our roof. She started building a fire in the fireplace. He built a model airplane from a kit. You will need permission to build on your property. They are building a legal case against the tobacco industry. scientists building theories about how the universe began At college, you'll build friendships that will last a lifetime.


He is strong and muscular in build. a man of average build
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ted and Marjorie Trefren of Cheyenne built the shrine in 1999 after touring shrines in Europe. USA TODAY, "High Line milestones, Iowa’s big stink, Muscle Beach makeover: News from around our 50 states," 11 June 2019 Jon Burge has picked a final design and is now pressing Lightfoot for the money and land to build it. Lisa Donovan,, "The Spin: Biden, Beto and Bullock hit Chicago for presidential fundraisers," 10 June 2019 And so jugglers deliberately build mistakes into their acts. Hannah Fresques, ProPublica, "“Your Default Position Should Be Skepticism” and Other Advice for Data Journalists From Hadley Wickham," 10 June 2019 The little community is building a reputation among wine lovers for its downtown tasting rooms and numerous wineries within easy driving distance. Melissa Yeager, azcentral, "Need to get out of the Phoenix heat? Cool off with these 10 easy getaways," 10 June 2019 Volunteers also built a shed to house tools and are devising a plan to renovate the walkway leading to the units. Houston Chronicle, "HomeAid and GHBA council partner on two charity projects," 9 June 2019 In heady times, Dulos built for the 1 percent and pursued the same lifestyle. Josh Kovner,, "Before being jailed in connection with the disappearance of Jennifer Farber Dulos, her estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, faced a downward spiral in his business and marriage," 9 June 2019 Sweden, for their part, have built on from their impressive showing in last year's World Cup., "Spain vs Sweden Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 9 June 2019 The goal is to bring more of the universe’s lore into the game and build it out with new legendary characters. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Apex Legends’ second season will work to fix its first," 8 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There's a new, voiced trailer to check out this week, featuring a glimpse of the language-translation mechanic, the timeline, a smoother-looking walk cycle than the previous builds, and more. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Pillars of Eternity II gets a turn-based mode, Farming Simulator bets big on esports," 25 Jan. 2019 So, for example, Apple suggests using the Mac mini for build and render farms. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Mac mini review—a testament to Apple’s stubbornness," 23 Nov. 2018 He is described as being a white male, between the ages of 20 to 30, with dark hair, a slender build and often wearing a hooded sweatshirt. Heidi Groover, The Seattle Times, "Bellingham police seek identity of voyeurism suspect," 27 Sep. 2018 All of the kits offer something in between a pricey custom build and the lengthy process of doing a van yourself. Megan Barber, Curbed, "DIY camper van: 5 affordable conversion kits you can buy now," 1 Aug. 2018 The robber is described as a black male in his late 30s to early 40s with a dark complexion, medium build and 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall. D. Kwas, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "West Allis police seek suspect in armed robbery of Paul's Jewelers," 25 June 2018 Witnesses described the suspect as a man about 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-10 tall, with a medium build and medium complexion, officials said. NBC News, "D.C. hotel serial rapist indicted via DNA, but actual suspect remains elusive," 19 June 2018 For starters, the players have the right build and look good in anything. Corey Seymour, Vogue, "Simon Doonan's New Book, Soccer Style, Is The World Cup Guide for Off-Pitch Excellence," 15 June 2018 Singer has a Jered Weaver-type build and top of the rotation stuff. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "'A significant amount of talent.' National experts on Royals' first-day draft picks," 5 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of build


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for build

Verb and Noun

Middle English bilden, from Old English byldan; akin to Old English būan to dwell — more at bower

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Statistics for build

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for build

The first known use of build was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for build



English Language Learners Definition of build

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make (something) by putting together parts or materials
: to develop or form (something) gradually
: to increase the amount of (something)



English Language Learners Definition of build (Entry 2 of 2)

: the shape and size of a person's body


\ ˈbild How to pronounce build (audio) \
built\ ˈbilt \; building

Kids Definition of build

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make by putting together parts or materials
2 : to produce or create gradually by effort It takes time to build a winning team.
3 : to grow or increase to a high point or level Excitement was building.



Kids Definition of build (Entry 2 of 2)

: the shape and size of a person's or animal's body The boy has a slender build.

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More from Merriam-Webster on build

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with build

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for build

Spanish Central: Translation of build

Nglish: Translation of build for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of build for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about build

Comments on build

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showing great care, attention, and effort

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