1 of 2


built ˈbilt How to pronounce build (audio) ; building

transitive verb

: 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
: to cause to be constructed
a contractor who has built hundreds of homes
: 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
: increase, enlarge
helps build muscle
build support for their candidate
building friendships

intransitive verb

: to engage in building
: to progress toward a peak (as of intensity)
build to a climax
: to develop in extent
a crowd building


2 of 2


plural builds
: 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
: 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.
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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Since opening in 2013, the 110-seat Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village has built so much buzz it’s become an empire: Carbone Miami location has a two-month-long waiting list, and during the F1 Grand Prix, reservations went for $3,000 a head for a pop-up on the beach. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 24 Nov. 2023 It’s built with a filtration system that traps 99.9% of common household allergens, including pesky pet dander. Andrea Navarro, Glamour, 24 Nov. 2023 The wildflower bouquet makes a beautiful assortment of flowers timeless — recipients can build 16 beautiful stems that when completed, can serve as a piece of decor. Nicol Natale, Peoplemag, 24 Nov. 2023 Having reclaimed land from the seas and built huge architectural novelties, the tiny territory is now attempting to diversify beyond gambling, attract non-gambling tourism and stress its cultural and historical heritage. Patrick Frater, Variety, 23 Nov. 2023 Visit the Vast North Set near the confluence of two rivers in a remote stretch of the Yukon, Fort Selkirk was built by Hudson’s Bay Company in the 19th century on the ancestral territory of the Hücha Hudän people. Diane Selkirk, Travel + Leisure, 23 Nov. 2023 That, at least, felt like home for the hundreds of thousands of Protestant middle Americans who migrated to L.A. and, in the land of Spanish missions, built themselves white clapboard New England-style steepled churches. Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2023 By embracing flexibility and inclusivity in return-to-work strategies, employers can mitigate legal risks, foster employee engagement, and build a more inclusive and productive work environment. Gleb Tsipursky, Fortune, 22 Nov. 2023 Advertisement Signing a long-term football contract with ESPN helped, though, providing the platform to build its national brand that ultimately elicited an invitation from the Big 12. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Nov. 2023
There’s also a women’s-specific build so everyone can find their perfect pair. Rena Behar, Travel + Leisure, 22 Nov. 2023 His manager has also suggested putting his tight end build to use in action movies, but — given the internet's fascination with his old tweets, his successful stint hosting Saturday Night Live and his affinity for stand-up — a career in comedy may be a better fit. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 20 Nov. 2023 The people who do the everyday work of running the federal government, who keep the wheels turning through all the political turnovers, working for the American people no matter which political party is in power, can’t keep up with the forests of pricey condo builds and urban farmhouse renovations. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, 20 Nov. 2023 Product specs: Ergonomic shape, borosilicate glass build, can be used for internal and external stimulation, dishwasher safe, waterproof, five inches of insertable length, 3.75-inch circumference at its widest point. Jennifer Hussein, Allure, 19 Nov. 2023 Interestingly, Carter doesn’t know the exact build date of her chateau, since Agen’s records only date to 1810. Valentina Valentini, Condé Nast Traveler, 13 Nov. 2023 By 2008, Basile’s business had evolved into a multifaceted design, build and fabrication studio, bringing complex projects to life out of a single-site operation in the East Village. Roxana Becerril, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Nov. 2023 Pricing starts at around $1 million, but with plans for plenty of customization options don’t be surprised if the build of your dreams comes in higher than that. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 6 Nov. 2023 This species is recognized by its large, robust build and distinct color pattern. Jake Parks, Discover Magazine, 7 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'build.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Verb and Noun

Middle English bilden, from Old English byldan; akin to Old English būan to dwell — more at bower

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of build was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near build

Cite this Entry

“Build.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
built ˈbilt How to pronounce build (audio) ; building
: to make by putting together parts or materials : construct
build a house
build a bridge
: to produce or create gradually
build a winning team
build up your strength
: to move or grow toward a peak
excitement was building


2 of 2 noun
: form or kind of structure
especially : physique

More from Merriam-Webster on build

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