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


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

Grime, buildup, and months of neglect due to sub-freezing temps likely means your house needs some love. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Give Your Home a Post-Winter Scrub With This Pressure Washer Sale," 11 Mar. 2019 Other company products were recommended for acne, to stimulate production of stem cells, to reduce tartar buildup and to promote healthy circulation, the FDA letter says. Lois Norder, ajc, "Peachtree City company warned about promoting unapproved drugs," 15 June 2018 Peele had never met his fellow best director nominees before the nominations were announced, and through the machinations of Oscar buildup and press opportunities has gotten to know all of them. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, "For Jordan Peele, ‘Get Out’ success has been a surreal journey," 24 Feb. 2018 We're constantly reminded that great hair begins with a healthy scalp, so paying special attention to that area with a clarifying shampoo formulated to rid our roots of grease, product buildup, and other such deposits is a no-brainer. Lauren Valenti, Marie Claire, "The Game-Changing Shampoo Trick Kim Kardashian's Hairstylist Swears By," 6 Aug. 2015 The first fight between Daredevil and Bullseye lives up to the buildup. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "Most Read," 12 Oct. 2018 Cystic fibrosis is caused by a genetic defect that allows a buildup of thick mucus in the lungs, and other internal organs. Bradley J. Fikes,, "Vertex Pharmaceuticals opens expanded San Diego research center with focus on cystic fibrosis," 18 June 2018 Planting the same type of plants in the same bed year after year can cause a buildup of disease organisms in the soil that use that plant as a host. Dan Gill,, "How to keep insects, weeds and diseases out of your South Louisiana garden," 24 May 2018 The facility passed its Feb. 20 re-inspection, but was again found in violation of a code regarding cleanliness standards for non-food surfaces due to a buildup of grease and old food on the restaurant’s grills, stoves and deep fryers. Barbara Harvey, sacbee, "‘Major’ health violations discovered at Sacramento State residential dining facility," 17 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Alex Avila, Adam Jones and David Peralta also homered for Arizona, but only after the Dodgers had built up a big lead. Greg Beacham, The Seattle Times, "Bellinger, Turner lead Dodgers’ demolition of D-backs, 18-5," 30 Mar. 2019 The big change comes as the company is trying to trim costs while building up momentum in its supply chain in an effort to become a mainstream auto maker. Paul Page, WSJ, "Today’s Logistics Report: Economy’s Growth Track; Retrenching Retailers; Tesla Goes Online," 1 Mar. 2019 Once in space, the lander will orbit Earth about six times to build up speed before heading toward the moon a week later. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "A Private Mission Hopes to Reach the Lunar Surface Without Help from Any Governments," 19 Feb. 2019 And, as solids can be built up by layering multiple sheets, there's also flexibility in how neighboring sheets line up. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Researchers make RAM from a phase change we don’t entirely understand," 18 Dec. 2018 This has allowed forests in the western United States to build up to an unnatural density, which increases the fuel available to burn. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Ryan Zinke blamed environmentalists for California’s massive wildfires. Again.," 21 Nov. 2018 Once in a while, an exceptional amount of positive charge builds up in the upper levels of the cloud — so much charge that the atmosphere has no choice but to attempt to balance with the ground. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, "Bolts from the blue: Here’s how lightning can strike when a storm is tens of miles away," 27 June 2018 And money would be left over to build up the institute’s scientific engine. Bradley J. Fikes,, "Scripps Research, AbbVie join in large cancer therapy alliance," 25 June 2018 Common glaciers form over long periods of time as layers of snow build up and solidify, almost always leaving reflective air pockets. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Green Icebergs Could Be Secretly Feeding All Ocean Life," 7 Mar. 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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Dictionary Entries near buildup

building trap

build onto



build up



Statistics for buildup

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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