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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from buildup


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

Examples of buildup in a Sentence

Noun 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. Verb static electricity built up on the cat's fur the roller coaster built up momentum
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun After a massive buildup to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army in recent years slashed more than 50,000 soldiers as those conflicts scaled back. Washington Post, "APNewsBreak: Army revamps recruiting, hits enlistment goal," 18 Sep. 2019 Total petroleum stocks only fell by 3.1 million barrels because of a buildup in distillate fuel oils used to make diesel and heating oils. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Oil prices fall despite crude inventories dip," 11 Sep. 2019 Temperatures are expected to climb, once again, into the mid- to upper 90s in the Birmingham metro area, and that, combined with light winds, could aid in ozone buildup. Leigh Morgan, al, "Code Orange air quality alert for Thursday for Birmingham metro area," 11 Sep. 2019 That prompted Kilian to find a replacement contractor, who told him Hughes had done an incomplete job installing a new water heater that could have resulted in an explosive pressure buildup. Jon Gorey,, "Hair-raising contractor horror stories — and how to avoid them," 5 Sep. 2019 The app was set to seven minutes of training per day, adding two minutes each week, which seemed like a reasonable buildup. T. Wise, Bon Appétit, "I Thought It’d Be Easy to Fix My Bad Posture—I Was Wrong," 7 Aug. 2019 The cause of the fire was determined to be grease buildup in the kitchen vent and the fire was confined to the kitchen area and the roof above the kitchen. Karen Kucher, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fire quickly extinguished in kitchen of La Jolla restaurant," 6 Aug. 2019 The Raiders will beat the Jaguars in their final game at the Coliseum, but the non-divisional opponent, the buildup to last year’s home finale and the drama of that Christmas Eve win over the rival Broncos will make this farewell feel anticlimactic. Matt Kawahara,, "Raiders’ predictions: Brown and Jacobs produce, but a quiet farewell to Oakland," 23 July 2019 Workers routinely clean these water basins, which can see feed buildup or incidental manure exposure from day-to-day activities. Stephanie Blaszczyk, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin dairy cows relax in sand, drink bovine Gatorade and visit the cow 'car wash' to beat summer heat," 19 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Is an allegorical horror flick that builds up to a wild final scene. Hanna Lustig, Teen Vogue, "13 Scariest Horror Movie Scenes," 31 Oct. 2019 But Korff’s ambitions to build up to 1.5 million square feet there ran into considerable resistance in the adjacent neighborhoods of Lower Falls and Auburndale., "Most read on," 29 Oct. 2019 The train is part of a massive rail project in China building up to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "China Sure Is Building a Lot of High-Speed Rail," 22 Oct. 2019 The Pac-12 would benefit from Utah and Oregon winning Saturday and vaulting closer to top-10 status, building up to a potential league title game with real national ramifications. Los Angeles Times, "College football games to watch: South Carolina looks to shock Florida," 17 Oct. 2019 For much of the decade building up to the 2014 World Cup, Germany had become the 'nearly men' of international football., "The 8 Best Moments of Mesut Ozil's Trophy-Laden Career," 15 Oct. 2019 Start with two rounds and build up to four rounds of the circuit, twice per week, with at least 48 hours in between for adequate recovery. Hayden Carpenter, Outside Online, "The Ultimate Cross-Training Workout for Runners," 23 Sep. 2019 After building up to Thursday night's game by sitting out almost all of the preseason, a Bears defense that sacked Aaron Rodgers five times in December should be primed to harass him again. Dan Wiederer,, "Can the Bears beat the Packers on the NFL's opening night? Our writers make their picks.," 4 Sep. 2019 But the companies have had time to build up to those significant rounds—both were founded in 2011—and investors justified their large buy-ins on the basis that the batteries will command premium pricing in a world of premium electric cars. Akshat Rathi, Quartz, "SoftBank’s first bet in energy storage is a startup that stacks concrete blocks," 14 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of buildup


1926, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1555, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about buildup

Statistics for buildup

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for buildup

The first known use of buildup was in 1555

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for buildup


How to pronounce build up (audio)

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).


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!