\ 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 The 65-foot vessel, which in itself is estimated to cost $3 million to build, was tracked down Sunday off the coast of Pontevedra, according to El Pais. Greg Norman | Fox News, Fox News, "Spanish police seize 6,000 pounds of cocaine during first-ever 'narco-submarine' capture, reports say," 26 Nov. 2019 Still, many professionals are pushing for foster-to-adoption families to build relationships with biological families, saying that maintaining those ties can benefit everyone involved. Washington Post, "How two families are navigating open adoption after foster care," 26 Nov. 2019 The Italian fashion house also announced a major push to step up diversity hiring as part of a long-term plan to build cultural awareness at the luxury fashion company following the uproar. Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY, "The worst fashion missteps of 2019, from bullet-hole hoodies to Gucci's straightjacket," 26 Nov. 2019 Under his plan, the tower was to be built where the 30-unit Edgewater Condo now stands. Susannah Bryan,, "Fort Lauderdale had right to say no to 21-story tower, court says," 26 Nov. 2019 Millions of miles of smooth, paved roads have had to be built and maintained. K.s-c., The Economist, "The modern world was built in the car’s image," 25 Nov. 2019 The teenager sneaked into the U.S. and tried to build a customer base as a street-level dealer. Beth Warren,, "A ruthless Mexican drug lord’s empire is devastating families with its grip on small-town USA," 25 Nov. 2019 A month earlier, the area’s congressman, Representative Hal Rogers of Kentucky’s 5th district, had secured funding to build the prison atop a former surface mine in the hamlet of Roxana, around 20 minutes west of Whitesburg. Sam Adler-bell, The New Republic, "Appalachia vs. the Carceral State," 25 Nov. 2019 Holcomb, who the inspector said also attended the meeting, did not want to upset Amazon while the state was actively courting the company to build its massive second headquarters in Indianapolis. Indianapolis Star Staff, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb disputes interference allegations in Amazon death investigation," 25 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun One teacher recorded a time-lapse video to show the build from start to finish. Yvette Orozco, Houston Chronicle, "See how volunteers built a playground in hours for a Pasadena ISD school," 20 Nov. 2019 The most challenging part of the build was designing the costume so that the head could move in different directions. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "This Dinosaur Contraption Is Proof Engineers Make the Best Costumes," 7 Nov. 2019 The Pixel’s dual-tone build has always been one of its distinguishing physical features, but Google has done away with that for this year’s phone. Wired, "Google Debuts the Pixel 4, the Best Expression of Android Yet," 15 Oct. 2019 The club's presented two concept designs for the new build recently, with one of the lead architects promising the finished arena will be 'better than Tottenham's', as quoted by Football Italia., "8 of the Best Stadium Concept Designs That Were Never Built," 13 Oct. 2019 The custom build allowed her to mix stains to create the perfect shade. al, "Young homeowner overhauls 1950s home with DIY projects," 23 Sep. 2019 Both shared the stocky build common to those who’ve spent time behind bars. Joe Sexton, ProPublica, "Journalism That Holds Power to Account," 3 Nov. 2019 The Quantum Ultra class features the line’s first ship-within-a-ship concept, something cruise lines like MSC and Norwegian Cruise Line have championed on their latest builds. Richard Tribou,, "Royal Caribbean reveals details for Florida-bound Odyssey of the Seas," 24 Oct. 2019 Forget that the build is a bit lithe for a power forward, the ballhandling not quite polished for a wing. Ira Winderman,, "Heat’s Derrick Jones Jr. proving to be lightning with a throttle," 14 Oct. 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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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

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Build.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 7 December 2019.

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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

Comments on build

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