\ 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

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 That year, during a trip to Colombia, South America, in support of EWTN’s Spanish offerings, Mother Angelica felt a calling from God to build a temple shrine and monastery that could serve as a place of pilgrimage and worship in Alabama. al, "Mother Angelica, Justice Janie Shores to be inducted in Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame," 19 Feb. 2020 The Department of Homeland Security said waiving procurement regulations will allow 177 miles of wall to be built more quickly in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Elliot Spagat, Anchorage Daily News, "Homeland Security waives contracting laws for construction of wall on Mexico border," 18 Feb. 2020 In Terra Santa, the group cut into the forest just enough to build little houses, sow collard greens and zucchini plants, and, eventually, keep some cattle. Elizabeth Barber, The New Yorker, "A Nun’s Journey in the Amazon," 17 Feb. 2020 Ten breakfast favorites include build-your-own omelet, pancakes and French Toast, plus more than a dozen pastries and sides (bacon was thick and housemade, definitely not cheap thin slices). Marc Bona, cleveland, "Edwins Bakery and Diner: Northeast Ohio’s best weekend brunches, breakfasts," 15 Feb. 2020 That is when Elliott began to build its stake in earnest. The Economist, "Singer-Son time Elliott Management guns for SoftBank," 13 Feb. 2020 Charlie said his mother had attended the school and was used as a laborer to build the place. Annie Hylton, Longreads, "Searching For Mackie," 12 Feb. 2020 With Sanders as her foil, Klobuchar wants to build a big tent to consolidate the Not Bernie sentiment within her party. Edward Morrissey, TheWeek, "Why moderates should think twice about Klobuchar," 12 Feb. 2020 Fans see a thoughtful effort to build scaffolding that will prove critical to advancing science. Rebecca Robbins, STAT, "Priscilla Chan charts an ambitious, unglamorous course to fight disease. (Her husband is involved, too.)," 11 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Here's a rundown of the places offering freebies or discounts on pizza in Louisville on Sunday: Blaze DEAL: Order $25 or more worth of food on Postmates to get a free, large build-your-own pizza. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "Where to get pizza deals for National Pizza Day in Louisville," 7 Feb. 2020 Both of those ingredients will be available for build-your-own bowls. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A new poke restaurant that will soon accommodate plant-based diets is coming to Wauwatosa," 17 Jan. 2020 Poke Chef, a poke restaurant with a build-your-own meal format, has leased 861 square feet in the Shops of Pinecroft, at the northeast corner of Lake Woodlands Drive and Pinecroft Drive in The Woodlands. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Retail wrap: Outdoor Voices activewear lands in Heights Mercantile for Houston debut," 20 Dec. 2019 Hood stripped the finish and used some stain leftover from a build-your-own stereo speakers kit to give the bass a matte walnut finish. Matt Wake |, al, "The mystery of The Swampers’ stolen Muscle Shoals bass guitar," 12 Nov. 2019 Obachan Noodles & Chicken Justin Sutherland and Leo Judeh team up once again at Potluck with this build-your-own ramen concept. Nancy Ngo, Twin Cities, "Five things to know about Potluck food hall opening soon at Rosedale Center," 7 Nov. 2019 Nummy: This small eatery features Asian fusion with an emphasis on build-your-own soup noodles ($12 to $25 plus extra toppings). Camila Vallejo,, "These 21 Connecticut restaurants offer BYOB with no or low corkage fees," 8 Oct. 2019 There will be a build-your-own mimosa and bloody mary bar with a breakfast buffet. Anchorage Daily News, "Trending events in Anchorage this week: A fashion show, Oktoberfest and Cuban dance," 26 Sep. 2019 Bicycles The quick-build will add improvements to bicycle intersections at Eighth, Page, Battery and Valencia streets. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, "Changes to SF’s Market Street, block by block," 24 Jan. 2020

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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Learn More about build

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

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Build.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for build


How to pronounce build (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for build

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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