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

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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
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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 Once a child is immunized with the oral polio vaccine, the weakened virus lives in their intestine for several weeks, allowing the child to develop immunity by building up antibodies. Patricia L. Foster, The Conversation, "A newly designed vaccine may help stamp out remaining polio cases worldwide," 13 Sep. 2019 As president, Mr Khama built up the country’s spy agencies and surrounded himself with securocrats, who appointed allies to top jobs, such as head of the main anti-corruption body. The Economist, "The battle of Botswana’s big men," 29 Aug. 2019 Both Dancing With The Stars and my own show SYTYCD have fought the stigma that has been built up over the years by a homophobic, narrow-minded society. Dave Quinn,, "Lara Spencer Says She's 'Deeply Sorry' for 'Stupid' Ballet Comments in On-Air GMA Apology," 26 Aug. 2019 Byrne, a longtime advocate of cryptocurrencies, has been building up Overstock's blockchain business. Author: Abha Bhattarai, Anchorage Daily News, "Overstock CEO resigns after saying he aided in ‘deep state’ Russia investigation," 22 Aug. 2019 In Montegut, officials were able to stop the water that topped the levee by building up another small levee. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Vastly Improved Levee System Credited for Saving Terrebonne Parish from Hurricane Barry Floodwaters," 15 July 2019 An early draft of the poem notes how the parapets of the trenches at Cuinchy were built up with corpses. David Yezzi, WSJ, "‘Robert Graves’ Review: A Poet of Love and War," 23 Nov. 2018 Just to be clear, the entire police force was built up, black and Hispanics men, except one out of the 11 police officers happen to be white. Fox News, "The unhinged left," 8 Aug. 2018 The treatment is daily capsules of peanut powder that gradually help children build up a tolerance. Matthew Perrone, Fortune, "The FDA Is Weighing Final Approval on a Treatment for Peanut Allergies in Children and Teens," 13 Sep. 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.

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First Known Use of buildup


1926, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1555, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for buildup

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for buildup

The first known use of buildup was in 1555

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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).


to spread as a report or rumor

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