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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After a massive buildup to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army in recent years slashed more than 50,000 soldiers as those conflicts scaled back. Washington Post, "APNewsBreak: Army revamps recruiting, hits enlistment goal," 18 Sep. 2019 Total petroleum stocks only fell by 3.1 million barrels because of a buildup in distillate fuel oils used to make diesel and heating oils. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Oil prices fall despite crude inventories dip," 11 Sep. 2019 Temperatures are expected to climb, once again, into the mid- to upper 90s in the Birmingham metro area, and that, combined with light winds, could aid in ozone buildup. Leigh Morgan, al, "Code Orange air quality alert for Thursday for Birmingham metro area," 11 Sep. 2019 That prompted Kilian to find a replacement contractor, who told him Hughes had done an incomplete job installing a new water heater that could have resulted in an explosive pressure buildup. Jon Gorey,, "Hair-raising contractor horror stories — and how to avoid them," 5 Sep. 2019 The app was set to seven minutes of training per day, adding two minutes each week, which seemed like a reasonable buildup. T. Wise, Bon Appétit, "I Thought It’d Be Easy to Fix My Bad Posture—I Was Wrong," 7 Aug. 2019 The cause of the fire was determined to be grease buildup in the kitchen vent and the fire was confined to the kitchen area and the roof above the kitchen. Karen Kucher, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fire quickly extinguished in kitchen of La Jolla restaurant," 6 Aug. 2019 The Raiders will beat the Jaguars in their final game at the Coliseum, but the non-divisional opponent, the buildup to last year’s home finale and the drama of that Christmas Eve win over the rival Broncos will make this farewell feel anticlimactic. Matt Kawahara,, "Raiders’ predictions: Brown and Jacobs produce, but a quiet farewell to Oakland," 23 July 2019 Workers routinely clean these water basins, which can see feed buildup or incidental manure exposure from day-to-day activities. Stephanie Blaszczyk, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin dairy cows relax in sand, drink bovine Gatorade and visit the cow 'car wash' to beat summer heat," 19 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The treatment is daily capsules of peanut powder that gradually help children build up a tolerance. Matthew Perrone, Fortune, "The FDA Is Weighing Final Approval on a Treatment for Peanut Allergies in Children and Teens," 13 Sep. 2019 Those acquisitions helped build up Google’s huge and lucrative ad business. Steve Lohr, New York Times, "House Antitrust Panel Seeks Documents From 4 Big Tech Firms," 13 Sep. 2019 MSC Cruises has been building up its Florida presence in recent years and will now expand to a second port by sending a ship to Tampa. Richard Tribou,, "MSC Cruises expands Florida footprint, to sail from Tampa," 12 Sep. 2019 The work will help build up the inventory of waste available to send to the $17 billion vitrification plant under construction, DOE said in a statement. Annette Cary, The Seattle Times, "After years of preparation, work to empty Hanford leak-prone waste tanks is ready to restart," 30 Aug. 2019 Pukki's wonderful finishing complimented the dazzling and at times near telepathic build up play provided by Marco Stiepermann and Ben Godfrey, with Moritz Leitner conducting things from midfield., "Norwich 3-1 Newcastle: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Pukki Hat-Trick Earns Canaries First Win," 17 Aug. 2019 Tech companies have spent decades building up interconnected supply chains — which include parts suppliers, trained labor and transportation routes — to support manufacturing in China. Clare Duffy, CNN, "New tariffs would have jacked up the price of iPhones. Delay buys time for Big Tech," 13 Aug. 2019 The collection that Kerr had spent more than $100,000 building up — balls and bats signed by Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and other baseball greats — was rife with items declared not genuine. NBC News, "Foul Ball: Did a NJ man get duped into buying $100K in bogus sports memorabilia?," 9 Aug. 2019 Iguodala predicts that demand for ecommerce will help build up the continent’s tech infrastructure, as well as improve connectivity, productivity, and opportunity for millions of underserved people. Patrick Lucas Austin, Time, "Why TIME's 2019 Tech Optimists Are Upbeat About Silicon Valley's Future," 7 Aug. 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.

See More

First Known Use of buildup


1926, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1555, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about buildup

Dictionary Entries near buildup

building trap

build onto



build up



Statistics for buildup

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for buildup

The first known use of buildup was in 1555

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 topic to which one constantly reverts

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!