1 of 2


built ˈbilt How to pronounce build (audio) ; building

transitive verb

: 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
: to cause to be constructed
a contractor who has built hundreds of homes
: 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
: increase, enlarge
helps build muscle
build support for their candidate
building friendships

intransitive verb

: to engage in building
: to progress toward a peak (as of intensity)
build to a climax
: to develop in extent
a crowd building


2 of 2


plural builds
: 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
: 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.
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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
The secluded parcel provides an opportunity to expand or build a secondary residence. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 9 Apr. 2024 Paradigm will work to build his business across books, acting, marketing, unscripted and more. Joe Otterson, Variety, 9 Apr. 2024 In the past year and a half, Japan has made significant reforms to its national security and defense strategies and has committed to buying U.S. Tomahawk missiles and building its own counterstrike capability. Jeanne Whalen, Washington Post, 9 Apr. 2024 Others include $1 million into a Retiree Rainy Day Fund for active and retired employees, $250,000 for capital improvements in Eastern Market and Councilman Young II's push for $2.6 million to build a new Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority dock. Detroit Free Press, 9 Apr. 2024 The Coquille tribe wants to build a casino on the California border. Ryan Fonseca, Los Angeles Times, 9 Apr. 2024 Yet in Iran, desperate to stop that country’s secret but active drive to build nuclear weapons, Israeli agents assassinated more than half a dozen scientists and engineers connected with the nuclear program. Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman, TIME, 9 Apr. 2024 New election officials tend to make more mistakes, and conspiracy theories about voting tend to focus on honest mishaps to try to build a false narrative that voting more broadly can't be trusted. Miles Parks, NPR, 9 Apr. 2024 That’s how Mutual Housing at Spring Lake in Woodland was built. Lindsey Holden, Sacramento Bee, 29 Mar. 2024
The Padel Court will set you back approximately $254,000 (£200,000) but that figure will vary depending on the scale of the build. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 9 Apr. 2024 Johnson is described as 130 pounds with a slim build; has long black, braided hair; wearing a red t-shirt under a black-hooded sweatshirt, and gray leggings and red Jordan-brand shoes. David Clarey, Journal Sentinel, 9 Apr. 2024 Winner: tie The Lexus RX will easily please shoppers looking for comfort, reasonable pricing and reputable build quality. Alex Nishimoto, Quartz, 3 Apr. 2024 The build quality is impressive, but there is no IP certification. Ewan Spence, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 Also known as the talent incubator initiative, the six-month program helps small brands owned by people of color build and scale their companies with the objective of one day selling at Sephora. Emma Burleigh, Fortune, 27 Mar. 2024 The build quality extends to the keyboard and touchpad as well. PCMAG, 27 Mar. 2024 Method: Add all ingredients except for the bitters into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously then strain into a new shaker (or remove ice from current shaker) and dry shake again to help the foam of the egg white build. Jillian Dara, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 The Lakers scratched Anthony Davis and James in the build to the game, which was on national TV. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'build.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Verb and Noun

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

First Known Use


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


1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near build

Cite this Entry

“Build.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
built ˈbilt How to pronounce build (audio) ; building
: to make by putting together parts or materials : construct
build a house
build a bridge
: to produce or create gradually
build a winning team
build up your strength
: to move or grow toward a peak
excitement was building


2 of 2 noun
: form or kind of structure
especially : physique

More from Merriam-Webster on build

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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