build·​up | \ ˈbild-ˌəp How to pronounce buildup (audio) \

Definition of buildup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something produced by building up fluid buildup in the lungs
2 : the act or process of building up

build up

built up; building up; builds up

Definition of build up (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to develop gradually by increments building up endurance built up a library
2 : to promote the health, strength, esteem, or reputation of

intransitive verb

: to accumulate or develop appreciably

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Other Words from buildup


builder-upper \ ˈbil-​dər-​ˈə-​pər How to pronounce builder-upper (audio) \ noun

Examples of buildup in a Sentence


There is a big traffic buildup on the highway. You should clean the mechanism regularly to prevent buildup of dirt. Both players were given big buildups before the game.


static electricity built up on the cat's fur the roller coaster built up momentum
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The stock buildup also caused WTI to close down 3% Wednesday, while Brent ended the session down 1.7%. Dan Molinski, WSJ, "Brent Crude Falls Below $80 as U.S. Inventories Grow," 18 Oct. 2018 In the buildup to Solange Knowles’s surprise album drop, the artist took to social media, posting mysterious videos paired with cryptic captions. Dayna Carney, Vogue, "Meet Neyon, the Gravity Defying Woman Featured in Solange’s When I Get Home Video," 2 Mar. 2019 While economists say China can delay deleveraging in the near term, eventually tackling the buildup of debt in its financial system is inevitable. Brian Spegele, WSJ, "China Struggles to Limit Surging Corporate Debt," 30 Dec. 2018 Grime, buildup, and months of neglect due to sub-freezing temps likely means your house needs some love. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Give Your Home a Post-Winter Scrub With This Pressure Washer Sale," 11 Mar. 2019 Other company products were recommended for acne, to stimulate production of stem cells, to reduce tartar buildup and to promote healthy circulation, the FDA letter says. Lois Norder, ajc, "Peachtree City company warned about promoting unapproved drugs," 15 June 2018 Peele had never met his fellow best director nominees before the nominations were announced, and through the machinations of Oscar buildup and press opportunities has gotten to know all of them. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, "For Jordan Peele, ‘Get Out’ success has been a surreal journey," 24 Feb. 2018 We're constantly reminded that great hair begins with a healthy scalp, so paying special attention to that area with a clarifying shampoo formulated to rid our roots of grease, product buildup, and other such deposits is a no-brainer. Lauren Valenti, Marie Claire, "The Game-Changing Shampoo Trick Kim Kardashian's Hairstylist Swears By," 6 Aug. 2015 The first fight between Daredevil and Bullseye lives up to the buildup. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "Most Read," 12 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Consistently wearing clean underwear will prevent bacteria from building up and potentially causing infections in the future. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "Here’s Why You Might Want to Sleep Without Underwear," 2 Apr. 2019 Last month, Digital First offered to purchase Gannett for $12 a share—valuing the publisher at $1.36 billion—after building up a 7.5% stake in the company. Lukas I. Alpert, WSJ, "Schumer Questions Digital First’s Hostile Bid for Gannett," 21 Feb. 2019 That foundation has been built up over time with closer ties to other Microsoft Office apps, such as Word or PowerPoint, services like Yammer and OneDrive, and now improved video chat features built upon the Skype technology. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft Teams taps AI to boost new background, whiteboarding features," 19 Mar. 2019 Alex Avila, Adam Jones and David Peralta also homered for Arizona, but only after the Dodgers had built up a big lead. Greg Beacham, The Seattle Times, "Bellinger, Turner lead Dodgers’ demolition of D-backs, 18-5," 30 Mar. 2019 The big change comes as the company is trying to trim costs while building up momentum in its supply chain in an effort to become a mainstream auto maker. Paul Page, WSJ, "Today’s Logistics Report: Economy’s Growth Track; Retrenching Retailers; Tesla Goes Online," 1 Mar. 2019 Once in space, the lander will orbit Earth about six times to build up speed before heading toward the moon a week later. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "A Private Mission Hopes to Reach the Lunar Surface Without Help from Any Governments," 19 Feb. 2019 And, as solids can be built up by layering multiple sheets, there's also flexibility in how neighboring sheets line up. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Researchers make RAM from a phase change we don’t entirely understand," 18 Dec. 2018 This has allowed forests in the western United States to build up to an unnatural density, which increases the fuel available to burn. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Ryan Zinke blamed environmentalists for California’s massive wildfires. Again.," 21 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'buildup.' 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 buildup


1926, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1555, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near buildup

building trap

build onto



build up



Statistics for buildup

Last Updated

10 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for buildup

The first known use of buildup was in 1555

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More Definitions for buildup



English Language Learners Definition of buildup

: an increase in something that occurs as time passes
: things that are said to cause people to feel excited about something (such as a future event) or someone (such as a performer)
: a series of things that lead to an important event or occurrence

More from Merriam-Webster on buildup

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with buildup

Spanish Central: Translation of buildup

Comments on buildup

What made you want to look up buildup? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something valued as if it were money

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