\ 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

And John Ebel, a professor in the earth and environmental sciences department at Boston College, added that parts of Los Angeles are built on soft soil from ancient riverbed, making them more susceptible to shaking. Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY, "Earthquakes ravaged Los Angeles and San Francisco. So, what spared this city in the California desert?," 9 July 2019 In 1993 when this area was built, these properties were not located in the 100-year floodplain. John Benson,, "Flooded Parma Heights residents and Brooklyn shoppers experience 500-year storm," 9 July 2019 Much like Ederson at Manchester City, Valdes was the base from which moves were built, helping Barça to three Champions League and six La Liga titles during his splendid career in the north-east., "La Masia: Ranking the 10 Greatest Graduates From Barcelona's Legendary Academy," 8 July 2019 Chris asked to see a photograph of the Barclays Center, in downtown Brooklyn, which had been built while he was incarcerated. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "Photo Requests from Solitary Confinement," 8 July 2019 Here’s one: The royal abbey upon which it was built dates to the year 506. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Moncler and MyTheresa Host a Sunset Dinner in Paris to Celebrate Simone Rocha," 8 July 2019 Setback rules, which are enacted by municipalities or states, forbid new oil and gas facilities from being built within a certain distance, typically 650 feet, of existing homes. Larry Buhl, The New Republic, "The Toxic-Gas Catastrophe Hiding Beneath Your Home," 8 July 2019 Mallows Bay is best known as the home of 100-plus steamships that were built during World War I in response to the threat of German U-boats. Allen Kim, CNN, "A new national marine sanctuary in Maryland will protect WWI-era shipwrecks," 8 July 2019 The Excelsior motorcycles became very popular, and a new state-of-the-art factory was built to keep up with demand. David Krumboltz, The Mercury News, "Me & My Car: Rare 1916 Excelsior motorcycle mostly original," 8 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

During the cold war, America raced to launch satellites that could spot a hurricane veering toward the Gulf of Mexico—or spy on Soviet weapons build-ups. The Economist, "How to predict the weather," 6 July 2019 The bad guys, frankly, alternately prove nasty and inept, and the build-up spends a bit too much time on CW-esque shenanigans. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Stranger Things' tackles teen troubles in third season," 3 July 2019 The team hosted four workouts featuring 24 draft hopefuls — far fewer than normal — during the build-up to the draft. Joe Freeman,, "Portland Trail Blazers could have quiet NBA draft night," 19 June 2019 The build-up stage can take three to six months and involves weekly or even twice-weekly shots in the doctor’s office. Marisa Cohen, Good Housekeeping, "How to Get Relief From Fall Allergies, According to an Allergist," 19 June 2019 The volume of sediment dredged to maintain shipping depths and clear out the build-up behind dams has the corps in constant search for new dumping grounds. Tristan Baurick,, "Dredging, dams and other river controls starve places downriver of much-needed sediment," 15 June 2019 The sound bar and wireless sub feature excellent build quality and a seamless setup., "CNET: Best Father’s Day gifts under $250," 5 June 2019 But so great was America’s productive capacity that the great storm occasioned little more than a ripple in the development of our build-up. David Von Drehle, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: United States lifted the world without losing ground," 5 June 2019 First up is the Stimulating Scalp Scrub, designed to remove product build-up and detoxify the scalp. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Frank Body's First-Ever Hair-Care Products Include a Scalp Scrub and Mask — and There’s Already a Waitlist," 17 May 2019

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

12 Jul 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

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