\ ˈbild How to pronounce build (audio) \
built\ ˈbilt How to pronounce build (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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Examples of build in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun He is strong and muscular in build. a man of average build
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To help child welfare staff stay emotionally healthy, the county is piloting a program in which staff psychologists help employees improve their sleep, set boundaries, improve communication skills and build resilience. Morgan Cook, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 May 2021 This chain restaurant offers a build-your-own-bowl options. Elizabeth Montgomery, The Arizona Republic, 30 May 2021 The two are currently looking for someone to design and build the ring composed of the gems Liden mined on the trip. Lauren M. Johnson, CNN, 30 May 2021 Charlie’s great-grandfather, Peter Urig, helped build the original Holy Trinity Church on Jaycox Road. cleveland, 29 May 2021 NetLogo curricula help students and researchers build computational models to experiment with complexity. Julia Brodsky, Forbes, 29 May 2021 Riding clubs recognized the opportunity and organized a strong lobby to extend existing trails and build new ones. Tony Kennedy, Star Tribune, 29 May 2021 Greenwood was among the few places in Tulsa where Black people could build wealth. Amber Burton, WSJ, 29 May 2021 The Raiders wanted the public to build them a new stadium. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, 29 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Johnson will be one of the more attractive players at this point of the draft, based on athleticism and build. Matt Goul, cleveland, 26 May 2021 Design/ Build is a 50-person design/build and licensed architectural firm that also offers interior design services and a small projects division called Wilderworks. Washington Post, 26 May 2021 This job takes a specific build and a sturdy leather glove is the choice. Chris Hachey, BGR, 25 May 2021 This fast-tracks the design and build of nearly any type of financial offering — bank, lender, fintech and more. Johanna Pugh, Forbes, 25 May 2021 Washington coach Peter Laviolette let his rookie netminder build on his 40-save effort in Game 3 . . ., 22 May 2021 According to the company, that build uses 96 percent less water and creates 45 percent less CO2 during manufacturing compared to a conventional cotton T-shirt. Jakob Schiller, Outside Online, 22 May 2021 Think wide leg pants that emphasize a statuesque build and a suede trench tossed over the shoulders. Marykate Boylan, Town & Country, 21 May 2021 In 2005, for instance, there were more than 1.6 million build permits issued nationwide. Ramsey Archibald |, al, 21 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for build

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for build

Last Updated

2 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Build.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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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.

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.


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