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

The process—the steady buildup to a prime-time show, fueled by tantalizing and sometimes conflicting leaks—spoke volumes about the Trumpian style and the voracious media appetite for every tidbit. Howard Kurtz, Fox News, "The Media's Mixed Signals: How Trump got to Brett Kavanaugh," 9 July 2018 The buildup to the Fourth of July in Barrington, featuring live music, brats and all things Americana, soon will give way to large crowds, who come out to see the annual Independence Day parade on Wednesday, officials said. Todd Shields,, "Days-long Fourth of July Fest turns holiday into community affair for Barrington," 2 July 2018 The buildup to the summit has been subsumed by anger over Trump's protectionism. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Trump wages war north of the border," 8 June 2018 The messy buildup to the Hayward Field reconstruction continues, with Nike co-founder Phil Knight and Tinker Hatfield weighing in publicly., "Intensity of feelings about the Hayward project becomes public: Oregon track & field rundown," 1 June 2018 The inside kettle of the grill will no doubt have some buildup of grilling or carbon residue. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "It's grilling season: Before firing up that grill, take time to clean," 23 May 2018 And even the Providence trial has been truncated: A publicity and citizen outreach blitz that was supposed to mimic the buildup to the 2020 count was scratched for lack of funds. New York Times, "Census Officials Say Rhode Island Rehearsal Is Going Well. Not Everyone Agrees.," 28 Apr. 2018 The buildup to this week’s coastal storm featured a lot of different snowfall forecasts. Michael Boren,, "How accurate were Philly forecasters' snow predictions? We grade them.," 22 Mar. 2018 Utah organizers will have to overcome the stigma from a bidding scandal that marred the buildup to the 2002 Games and resulted in several IOC members losing their positions for taking bribes, Ganis said. USA TODAY, "Salt Lake City is 1st in US to seek 2030 Winter Olympic bid," 7 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That suggests that all their training had make the pros better at handling mental fatigue, perhaps by reducing how quickly adenosine builds up in their brains during sustained cognitive effort. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, "Here’s What We Know About Mental Fatigue," 10 July 2018 Canals like those related to the outbreak are built in what were originally rural areas, but now the land around a few of them has been built up, Doyle says. Korin Miller, SELF, "Officials Think They’ve Finally Found the Source of the Romaine Lettuce E. Coli Outbreak," 2 July 2018 Wawa Welcome America festivities build up to Wednesday’s free concert and fireworks celebration on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Frank Kummer,, "Extended heatwave in Philadelphia amid July 4th crowds adds to health concerns," 2 July 2018 Emily Liu, director of Louisville Metro Planning and Design Services, said the property is zoned for commercial use, which means developers can technically build up to five stories. Kate Talerico, The Courier-Journal, "Parking for bikes but not cars? This development plan is going green," 28 June 2018 That meant companies including Apple Inc., Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Microsoft Corp. , which had built up large holdings of short-term U.S. corporate bonds with those earnings, had less incentive to buy the debt. Daniel Kruger, WSJ, "Junk Debt Is Outdoing Its Peers," 25 June 2018 Arceneaux is a frequent Essence and Complex contributor and has built up a huge following, thanks to his wry commentary on everything from race to sexuality to popular culture. Seija Rankin,, "The year in LGBTQ projects you need to know about," 13 June 2018 Pearce instead starts throwing out more information about the backstories he’s built up, which end up gumming up the plot instead of driving it. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Hotel Artemis Wastes Its Cult-Classic Potential," 8 June 2018 The action of the finale also finds a sneaky way to acknowledge the larger world the series has built up around the small fictional town of Orson, Indiana, while keeping its focus squarely on the Hecks. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "The Middle wraps its run as TV’s most perpetually underrated comedy," 27 May 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

13 Sep 2018

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

See 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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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