\ 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 Lastly, the soon-to-be-built new Westlake senior center and community services building is currently soliciting bids for construction. Linda Gandee/special To,, "New Marc’s plaza is cornerstone of Westlake’s current economic development," 17 Sep. 2019 It was designed and built by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University. Scientific American, "Drenchable Drones, Prickly Cells and Face-Tracked Chimps: Science GIFs to Start Your Week," 16 Sep. 2019 Williams is a regular volunteer at Rowan Elementary School, providing literacy assessments and tutoring, as well as assisting with community-building classroom circles there. Lallia Allali, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Someone San Diego Should Know: Linda Williams," 16 Sep. 2019 This is a temple of masa — made from corn ground right there in the little walk-up stand on the city’s South Side in a grinder built by owner Steven Pizzini’s family back in the 1930s. Mike Sutter,, "Cocktail from 188 South in New Braunfels tops September’s list of 5 things to eat and drink at San Antonio-area restaurants right now," 16 Sep. 2019 But its messages—about believing victims, understanding their trauma, and offering them the dignity of your attention—are important, and there's a slow-building power to the series' procedural structure. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to Watch (and Skip) This Weekend on Netflix and in Theaters," 13 Sep. 2019 An adjacent library seating area has an entertainment center and, also innovative for its time, built-in storage for records and a slide-out shelf for the stereo-radio set. oregonlive, "Pink Martini’s Thomas Lauderdale leads a $5 singalong fundraiser at Oregon’s only Frank Lloyd Wright house," 12 Sep. 2019 Making public what has long been treasured by area residents grew from a partnership built by the city of Trinidad, The Nature Conservancy, The Trust for Public Lands and state officials. Judith Kohler, The Denver Post, "Privately owned Fisher’s Peak in southern Colorado to become 42nd state park," 12 Sep. 2019 Originally built by finance attorney Philip Dexter in 1908 on a hill with views of Kettle Cove and the Boston skyline, the home gained notoriety during Prohibition. Real Estate, "Listed: Manchester-by-the-Sea mansion had a siren, vaults, and guards to protect liquor stash," 11 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Ocasek died of hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, also known as atherosclerosis, which is a plaque build-up in the arteries and can cause hardening and/or narrowing in the heart muscle. Karen Mizoguchi,, "The Cars Frontman Ric Ocasek's Cause of Death Revealed to Be Cardiovascular Disease," 16 Sep. 2019 David Alaba has been ruled out for 'several weeks' after suffering a torn thigh muscle in the build-up to Bayern Munich's clash with RB Leipzig on Saturday., "Bayern Munich Learn Extent of David Alaba Injury Sustained During RB Leipzig Warm-Up," 15 Sep. 2019 Those days, with all the build-up and hype and tension, were physically and emotionally draining. Nick Moyle,, "Texas eager to iron out issues in final non-conference tilt with Rice," 11 Sep. 2019 Investigators said the cause was a build-up of methane leaking into the house from an uncapped, cut flow line that was still attached to a well. Judith Kohler, The Denver Post, "New rules for oil, gas flow lines up next for Colorado regulators," 5 Sep. 2019 For the first time amid its build-up at Redstone Arsenal, the FBI said more than 4,000 jobs will be coming to Huntsville over the next eight to 10 years. Paul Gattis |, al, "FBI says more than 4,000 jobs coming to Huntsville," 30 Aug. 2019 This had reassured people following a week-long troop build-up in the state of around 38,000 more security personnel. Riyaz Wani, Quartz India, "Kashmir descends into a witch’s brew of fear and suspense," 4 Aug. 2019 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

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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Statistics for build

Last Updated

1 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for build

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

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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

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


not being in agreement or harmony

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