\ ˈbild How to pronounce build (audio) \
built\ ˈbilt How to pronounce build (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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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 Johnson knows the allure for Meyer, 56, who can use the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft to build the Jaguars around Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Here’s what will determine whether Urban Meyer will succeed as Jaguars coach," 15 Jan. 2021 Hussaini, who lives in Washington County, said the Muslim community in Clackamas County has been hesitant to build a mosque due to the area’s conservatism. oregonlive, "Clackamas County Commissioner Mark Shull rebuffs calls to resign as colleagues censure him over Islamophobic comments," 15 Jan. 2021 But discussions to hold events underlining his work to build America’s economic strength and military prowess have apparently come to naught. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "Trump fumes as aides try to fill final days with perks of the White House," 15 Jan. 2021 Besides the King memorial, the organization is also raising money to build an economic justice center in Roxbury, a historically Black neighborhood in Boston where MLK preached. Philip Marcelo, Chron, "A memorial will rise in the spot where MLK and Coretta met and studied," 15 Jan. 2021 That things build to a semi-ridiculous heist is fitting; the whole movie feels stolen. Jake Coyle, Star Tribune, "Review: 'Locked Down' mirrors our quarantine experiences," 15 Jan. 2021 Folks also contributed $30,000 of his own money to secure the lots and build the building. Chanel Stitt, Detroit Free Press, "RollerCade roller rink keeps Detroit's skating culture going during coronavirus pandemic," 15 Jan. 2021 Keep manufacturing the running game, then build the play-action game off that. ... Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, "L.A. Times’ Sam Farmer predicts winners in NFL divisional round of playoffs," 15 Jan. 2021 The Corps is considering that request, along with proposals to elevate the levee, add more sand to the western end and perhaps even to build a seawall. Halle Parker | Staff Writer,, "Grand Isle's 'burrito' levee rebuilt - with a new, 200-foot-wide beach," 15 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The president-elect has also promised to go big on electric cars, expanding subsidies to help consumers purchase the vehicles and funding the build-out of at least 500,000 charging stations. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Oil refining lobby sees opportunity to work with Biden on climate and trade," 14 Jan. 2021 The medical experts all said that a woman of ordinary build and ordinary strength could have committed the murders. Erin Moriarty, CBS News, ""Lizzie Borden took an axe" — or did she? What would a jury say today?," 26 Dec. 2020 Electric utilities, which account for one-quarter of US emissions, are investing heavily in renewables and setting net zero targets, but also pushing for a massive build-out of long-lasting natural gas plants. Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, "Corporate climate commitments are catching on—just not in the industries that matter most," 11 Dec. 2020 The co-op plans to spend $95 million in Morgan and Lawrence counties on the five-year build-out of high-speed internet and voiceover IP. al, "North Alabama company adding jobs as part of $3.5 million expansion," 26 Nov. 2020 And Epstein's next build-out will come somewhere other than Chicago. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Chicago Cubs championship architect Theo Epstein steps down as president; Jed Hoyer taking over," 17 Nov. 2020 The permits Sempra received from Mexico allow for a future build-out of the facility of up to 12 million metric tons per annum. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Sempra to build LNG export facility in Baja," 17 Nov. 2020 The Steelcase Gesture received a perfect score in terms of build, ease of assembly, and quality of materials. Hayley Saltzman, CNN Underscored, "The best office chairs of 2020," 5 Nov. 2020 Haeger is described by police as a 6-foot-1-inch, white male of medium build, with short brown hair, last seen in a dark-colored shirt. Madeline Ackley, The Arizona Republic, "Scottsdale police looking for man suspected of killing ex-girlfriend," 3 Oct. 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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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

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Build.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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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.

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.

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Comments on build

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