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


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

After that, the organization will determine if any further buildup is required before shipping Whitley to Class AA Corpus Christi. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros unsure where prospect Forrest Whitley will report after suspension," 30 May 2018 Belly buttons contain a lot of folds that allow for the buildup of dead skin cells, sweat, and various microorganisms, Cynthia Bailey, M.D., a diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology and founder of Dr. Bailey Skin Care, tells SELF. Korin Miller, SELF, "5 Belly Button Infections You Can Get (and What to Do If You Have One)," 23 Feb. 2019 The buildup of minerals in the traditional machine may lead to lung injury. Lindsey Campbell, House Beautiful, "19 Dangerous Household Items You Should Quit Using Immediately," 15 Feb. 2019 Litter boxes that aren’t cleaned regularly enough can contain buildups of urine and feces, resulting in dangerous ammonia fumes. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "How Cat Poop Can Affect Your Health," 9 Aug. 2018 Those are called keratosis pilaris (KP)—a genetic condition that causes a buildup of keratin in your pores—and sadly, they can’t be cured. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "The 5 Truly Spectacular Beauty Products I'm Loving This Week," 3 Aug. 2018 The buildup of skin cells create scaly, patches that can itch, hurt, crust up, and bleed. Mona Gohara, Good Housekeeping, "7 Common Scalp Issues — And How to Treat Them," 31 July 2018 My blockages were made of mostly calcium, not cholesterol, and that was due to DNA: My father also had calcium buildup which caused him to have a heart attack at 49. Susan Lucci As Told To Tiffany Blackstone, Woman's Day, "Susan Lucci Shares All About the Heart Scare That Sent Her to the ER," 6 Feb. 2019 Inside my apartment, the hardwood floors undulated like waves from the water buildup. Lonnie Firestone, Glamour, "It Took a Fire in My Building to Understand Marie Kondo's Method," 15 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 That kind of stress might come from a traumatic or abusive situation, but your job, pressures at home, and other life stressors can build up without healthy coping mechanisms in place. Korin Miller, SELF, "Why Are Heart Attacks Becoming More Common in Women Under Age 54?," 13 Feb. 2019 Maintain a poker face, don't get emotional, and build up a thick skin. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "How RHONY's Barbara Kavovit Shattered The Glass Ceiling Of The Construction Industry," 29 Jan. 2019 Even easing myself in (derms recommend using it once a week and slowly building up to everyday use), my skin wasn't having it. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "Drunk Elephant's Vegan Retinol Doesn't Irritate My Sensitive Skin," 26 Dec. 2018 The company produces Bentley luxury cars in Britain and has built up some stocks and inventories. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "Volkswagen CFO: Cautious About Trade, Optimistic About China," 13 Dec. 2018 Moving from paralysis to problem-solving Muro says the government needs to focus more on re-skilling and building up regional economies. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "When towns lose a factory, what comes next?," 29 Nov. 2018 When that happens, the pressure keeps building up until something gives and all that energy is released at once. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "An Earthquake Shook Istanbul for 50 Days—And Almost No One Noticed," 12 Feb. 2019 That effort, coupled with the recent government push to foster the development of companies dedicated to electric and hybrid cars, helped build up enough knowledge and momentum to give birth to companies like NIO and Xpeng. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Tesla’s competition for the Model Y is growing quickly in China," 21 Dec. 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

15 Mar 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).


a shady place in a garden or forest

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