\ 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 in the United States, now the largest oil producer in the world, higher prices actually carry a benefit: With revenue rising, oil drillers can hire more workers, build more rigs, and expand production. Washington Post, "Oil prices jump as attack on Saudi plant jolts supply," 18 Sep. 2019 Developers built them in white suburbs, far removed from cities and public transportation routes, fashioning castles of commerce for the white middle class. Johnny Joo, Smithsonian, "The Rise of the Zombie Mall," 18 Sep. 2019 Much like Ten-X, Biproxi has built an online tool for finding, listing and selling commercial buildings. San Diego Union-Tribune, "East Village startup gets $10M to build ‘Zillow for commercial real estate’," 17 Sep. 2019 DirecTV Now built a subscriber base of 1.86 million by the end of Q3 2018, but that number dropped to 1.34 million by June 2019 after a series of price increases. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Lawsuit: AT&T signed customers up for DirecTV Now without their knowledge," 17 Sep. 2019 It was built with wood salvaged from the Perkins homestead, crafted by a Warren grassroots donor who owns an all-woman woodworking company, and modeled after the soapboxes that organizers would speak from during the early labor movement. Charlotte Alter, Time, "'One Woman, and Millions of People to Back Her Up.' How Elizabeth Warren Made Fighting Corruption A Feminist Rallying Cry," 17 Sep. 2019 Once known as a developmental territory, NXT has built itself into WWE’s third brand. Justin Barrasso,, "Adam Cole on NXT’s Live TV Debut: ‘This Is the Exact Moment I’ve Dreamed Of’," 17 Sep. 2019 Higuita brings a similar balance of pace and precision, which allows the Lions to build fluidly through the midfield, then exploit gaps in the box with the team’s more clinical finishers. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Nani praises growth of Orlando City as the captain flourishes in final stretch of season," 17 Sep. 2019 The Times has built a global propaganda machine, similar to Russia’s Sputnik or RT, that pushes a mix of alternative facts and conspiracy theories that has won it far-right acolytes around the world. Seth Hettena, The New Republic, "The Obscure Newspaper Fueling the Far-Right in Europe," 17 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The suspect was described as being Latino, around 5-feet-9 inches to 5-feet-10 inches tall, with a thin build. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Subway eatery robbed in City Heights by masked gunman," 15 Sep. 2019 Standing in the hall was Mitchel, a uniformed hotel worker with a slight build. Ezra Marcus, Town & Country, "In Anguilla, Scott Hapgood Awaits His Fate," 10 Sep. 2019 Long compared to Johan Santana, a lefty with a similar build and repertoire, Luzardo said that Santana and Seattle’s Felix Hernandez, a fellow Venezuelan, were his favorite pitchers to watch. Susan Slusser,, "Top prospect Jesús Luzardo joins A’s, role undefined," 9 Sep. 2019 Whether the innovation center ever gets build, Plus One Robotics co-founder Paul Hvass, said Port San Antonio was a practical for his company. Randy Diamond,, "Port San Antonio experiencing growth spurt," 6 Sep. 2019 He was described as being tall with a muscular build and a bushy black beard. Wayne K. Roustan,, "Gunman in no hurry as he empties safes, cash register at pawn shop," 6 Sep. 2019 He was described as a light-skinned black or Hispanic male approximately 5 [feet] 6 inches to 5 [feet] 8 inches tall with a muscular build wearing a white hooded sweatshirt. Alyssa Lukpat,, "Attleboro police searching for masked gas station robber who may have fled to Rhode Island," 27 Aug. 2019 That work also involves Microsoft getting used to the cadence of delivering a Chromium browser, with daily builds for Canary, weekly for Developer, and now beta builds every six weeks. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser moves closer to release with new beta version," 20 Aug. 2019 The acceleration in consumer spending also helped businesses to whittle down an inventory overhang, leading to a smaller inventory build. NBC News, "Economic growth slows less than expected in second quarter," 26 July 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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Learn More about build

Statistics for build

Last Updated

18 Oct 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

Comments on build

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


involving a confidence or trust

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