build·​up | \ ˈbild-ˌəp \

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


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 \ noun

Examples of buildup in a Sentence


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.


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

Flanagan chooses to open the series with this death, and then spend the rest of the narrative exploring the buildup to it and the resulting fallout among the rest of the family. Aja Romano, Vox, "Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House is a slow-burn family nightmare," 12 Oct. 2018 One firm, FireEye, worked with Facebook to unearth fake pages during the summer buildup to this month’s midterm elections. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Social Media Crime Fighters at FireEye Are Helping Facebook Find Fake Accounts," 12 Oct. 2018 The buildup to this NFL season has consisted of routine concerns and drama. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The NFL’s Best Players Are Getting Richer Than Ever," 5 Sep. 2018 But as the buildup to what’s next has escalated around Husky quarterbacks, the what’s now has shifted to the periphery. Adam Jude, The Seattle Times, "UW’s Jake Browning has heard his critics. Now, he’s hell-bent on turning doubt into fuel," 29 July 2018 The vapor chamber, Razer claims, helps the Razer Phone 2 maintain clock speeds and frame rates most other phones can’t, due to heat buildup in long gaming sessions. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Razer Phone 2 hands-on: The first gaming phone gets better," 10 Oct. 2018 The problems include wax and ice buildup in the line that occurs as crude oil flows more slowly, losing heat. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Federal effort to prepare for ANWR lease sale draws big crowd in Anchorage," 31 May 2018 China is currently engaged in the largest naval buildup in recent memory, building large numbers of modern ships complete with modern missiles and sensors. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Satellite Photos Reveal Gigantic Chinese Fleet of More Than 40 Ships," 29 Mar. 2018 Trains have been running overnight to prevent ice buildup in rails and overhead wires., "Portland metro traffic Wednesday: Snowstorm leaves behind ice, treacherous conditions," 21 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Businesses have grown disillusioned with China’s restrictions on their activities, forced technology transfer and intellectual-property theft, all aimed at building up domestic competitors at foreign expense. Greg Ip, WSJ, "Trump Didn’t Kill the Global Trade System. He Split It in Two.," 26 Dec. 2018 The State Department was to have spent the money on building up the country's infrastructure, including power, water and roads. Andrew O'reilly, Fox News, "White House: US mission in Syria coming to 'rapid end'," 2 Oct. 2018 So conditions like temperature, pressure, gas content, and the presence of water all have to be just right for enough magma to build up and eventually form a caldera. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "An Italian volcano’s massive eruptions fit a pattern — and the cycle may have restarted," 14 Nov. 2018 When Kim met South Korean envoys last week, the sides agreed to try to find ways to build up mutual trust and prevent armed clashes between their militaries, according to South Korean officials. Hyung-jin Kim, The Seattle Times, "SKorea’s Moon calls for ‘bold decisions’ ahead of Kim summit," 11 Sep. 2018 Like other berries, açaí are packed with antioxidants that can help build up your immune system and protect your cells against damage from free radicals. Tehrene Firman, Good Housekeeping, "10 Things You Should Know About Açaí Berries, Nature's "Purple Gold"," 23 July 2018 Transporting wildlife is a strategy used by conservationists to help build up, or even bring back, animal populations. Washington Post, "8 endangered black rhinos die in Kenya after relocation," 13 July 2018 Transporting wildlife is a strategy used by conservationists to help build up, or even bring back, animal populations. Khaled Kazziha,, "8 endangered black rhinos die in Kenya after relocation," 13 July 2018 The band’s sense of drama, dynamic build ups, and simple attitude of gratitude will resonate with listeners in search of messages about grace, eternal life and forgiveness. John Adamian,, "From Sam Hunt And Reba To U2 And King X: A Week Of Big-Name Concerts," 23 June 2018

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

18 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for buildup

The first known use of buildup was in 1555

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More Definitions for buildup



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 settle judicially or to act as judge

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