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 Although the evidence is circumstantial, iron fertilization from volcanic ash may have contributed to the brief hiatus in carbon buildup in the atmosphere after the 1991 eruption of the Philippines’ Mt. Pinatubo, says Emerson. Emily Underwood, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Complicated Role of Iron in Ocean Health and Climate Change," 6 Jan. 2020 Last year's holiday buildup in traditional retail categories was Oregon's slowest since 2009 -- despite a strong economy. oregonlive, "Oregon Insight: E-commerce takes the lead in holiday hiring," 22 Dec. 2019 With thousands of Iowa Democrats braving ominous gray skies and intermittent rain, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, punctuating a summer-long buildup in Iowa, drew one of the most robust receptions. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Steak, beer and politics: 2020 Democrats descend on Iowa," 20 Sep. 2019 With thousands of Iowa Democrats braving ominous gray skies and intermittent rain, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, punctuating a summer-long buildup in Iowa, drew one of the most robust receptions. Thomas Beaumont,, "2020 Democratic presidential candidates descend on Iowa for steak, beer and politics," 20 Sep. 2019 The doctor called to McDermott's bedside early on the morning of April 9 had ordered a chest X-ray and a diuretic in case of fluid buildup in his lungs, medical records show. Dennis Wagner, USA TODAY, "Oversights, lapses at VA hospital risked veterans’ lives, limit evidence in homicide probe," 30 Aug. 2019 McKee’s team studied the brains of deceased former athletes who suffered cognitive impairment and discovered significant tau buildup in a majority of them., "A History of Football in 100 Objects," 28 Aug. 2019 The mouth bar, a buildup of sand and sediment deposited into the river that impacts the depth and flow of the river, was partially dredged in 2019. Savannah Mehrtens, Houston Chronicle, "2020 vision: Top stories of 2019 and what to expect in the next year," 31 Dec. 2019 The walk out there, the anticipation, the buildup, all that. Derek Lawrence,, "How Kevin Garnett became the secret weapon of Uncut Gems," 26 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The process to remove the remainder of the Kingwood mouth bar — a build up of sand and sediment in the San Jacinto River that could increase flooding — begins this week. Savannah Mehrtens, Houston Chronicle, "$40 million dredging of Kingwood mouth bar begins this week," 7 Jan. 2020 Iran wields extensive political influence in predominantly Shiite Iraq, where Soleimani's Quds Force built up and armed militias that targeted U.S. troops. NBC News, "Iran's options for retaliation against the U.S. and Americans span the globe," 3 Jan. 2020 The New York Times reported that Iran had also built up an arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles inside Iraq. Tim Lister, CNN, "A proxy war between the US and Iran just moved a step closer," 30 Dec. 2019 The United States accused Iran this month of exploiting the chaos in Iraq to build up a hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles there. New York Times, "American Airstrikes Rally Iraqis Against U.S.," 30 Dec. 2019 And the nonprofit can’t afford to pay them extra for the thousands of hours of overtime that can build up during a busy quarter — and gets balanced out during slower times when employees can work shorter days, Dyson said., "On Jan. 1, the OT cap for salary workers rises to $35,568. Mass. wants to raise it even higher - The Boston Globe," 27 Dec. 2019 Then the film’s costume designer, Jenny Eagan, started giving interviews that built up the mythology of the sweater. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "The Curious Case of Chris Evans’s Sweater," 18 Dec. 2019 The people who build up bridging capital by pushing themselves out of their comfort zones and getting away from the tribe tend to do better in life (pdf). Jenny Anderson, Quartz, "A pioneer of wearable technology explains how it can connect instead of divide us," 17 Dec. 2019 The authors of the Brookings report call for a far-reaching federal program to build up the tech talent base in 10 to 12 other metros. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "US tech job bypass metro Detroit and new report explains why," 13 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for buildup

Time Traveler

The first known use of buildup was in 1555

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Statistics for buildup

Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Buildup.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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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

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good-natured easy friendliness

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