\ ˈbild How to pronounce build (audio) \
built\ ˈbilt How to pronounce build (audio) \; building

Definition of build

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to form by ordering and uniting materials by gradual means into a composite whole : construct birds building a nest build new hospitals and schools the boat her father built
2 : to cause to be constructed a contractor who has built hundreds of homes
3 : to develop according to a systematic plan, by a definite process, or on a particular base building a legal case against her built the organization from the ground up
4 : increase, enlarge helps build muscle build support for their candidate building friendships

intransitive verb

1 : to engage in building
2a : to progress toward a peak (as of intensity) build to a climax
b : to develop in extent a crowd building
build a fire under
: to stimulate to vigorous action
build into
: to make an integral part of build quality into the product
build on
: to use as a foundation building on past experience


plural builds

Definition of build (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : form or mode of structure : make the boxy build of the car especially : bodily conformation of a person or animal a man of stocky build
2 : a version or iteration of a product or component We worked with several builds of the beta code, which was in itself instructive. Things that worked perfectly in one version stopped working at all in the next release.— Bill Machrone et al.

Examples of build in a Sentence

Verb The bridge was built in the 1890s. The planes were built in Germany. The organization helps build houses for poor families. A family of birds has built a nest on our roof. She started building a fire in the fireplace. He built a model airplane from a kit. You will need permission to build on your property. They are building a legal case against the tobacco industry. scientists building theories about how the universe began At college, you'll build friendships that will last a lifetime. Noun He is strong and muscular in build. a man of average build
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Now the Beavers need some games to build momentum and confidence. oregonlive, 6 Jan. 2022 Hekemian, which acquired the Rotunda in 2005, invested about $100 million to redevelop 295,000 square feet of office and retail space and build the 379-unit Icon apartments behind the center’s main structure. Lorraine Mirabella,, 6 Jan. 2022 Isakson was a dealmaker and consensus builder, with multiple mourners making reference to the barbecue lunch that Isakson hosted annually to build friendships among senators across party lines. Jeff Amy, ajc, 6 Jan. 2022 Ward said the company plans to hire more than 3,000 associate delivery drivers this year and build out a fleet of 100% all-electric delivery vans for the expansion. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, 6 Jan. 2022 The existing 3,009-square-foot home was torn down to build an 8,153-square-foot mansion with five bedrooms, six bathrooms and 65 feet of ocean frontage. San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Jan. 2022 Valley Springs outscored Bergman 18-9 in the second quarter to build a big lead, then held on as the Tigers took sole possession of first place in the 3A-1 Conference standings with a win at home. Arkansas Online, 6 Jan. 2022 Also no surprise: Both use the memoir as personal archaeological digs that build on the insights and influences of similar writing. Christopher Borrelli,, 6 Jan. 2022 Recently, Rivian announced plans to build a second factory more than twice the size of its existing plant in Illinois capable of building 400,000 vehicles annually. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 6 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The robber is described as a Black male who stands approximately 6 feet with a medium build and who was last seen wearing a black mask, a gray jacket with black accents, jeans and black or brown shoes. Tatyana Turner,, 4 Jan. 2022 The woman was described as white, possibly in her late 20s or early 30s, with a medium build and long brown hair. Mike Cruz, The Arizona Republic, 4 Jan. 2022 Investigators have not yet identified the man, whom police describe as light-complexioned with a medium build. Washington Post, 4 Oct. 2021 Another suspect was described as a Pacific Islander, about 5-feet, 6-inches tall with a medium build. Fox News, 3 Oct. 2021 He is described as between 30 and 40 years old, about 5 feet 10 inches tall with a medium build. Los Angeles Times, 1 Sep. 2021 Police are now looking for a Black man -- believed to be in his late 30s to early 40s -- with a mustache and goatee who has a medium-to-stocky build. Jon Haworth, ABC News, 6 June 2021 Chacon said Broderick is 5 feet 7 inches tall with a medium build and was last seen wearing a gray hoodie, sunglasses and a cap. Ryan Autullo, USA TODAY, 19 Apr. 2021 The product build-out disclosed Tuesday is unlikely to alleviate much of the pressure facing Mr. Mosseri on Wednesday. Shara Tibken, WSJ, 7 Dec. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'build.' 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 build


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for build

Verb and Noun

Middle English bilden, from Old English byldan; akin to Old English būan to dwell — more at bower

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Time Traveler for build

Time Traveler

The first known use of build was before the 12th century

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Statistics for build

Last Updated

9 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Build.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for build



English Language Learners Definition of build

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make (something) by putting together parts or materials
: to develop or form (something) gradually
: to increase the amount of (something)



English Language Learners Definition of build (Entry 2 of 2)

: the shape and size of a person's body


\ ˈbild How to pronounce build (audio) \
built\ ˈbilt \; building

Kids Definition of build

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make by putting together parts or materials
2 : to produce or create gradually by effort It takes time to build a winning team.
3 : to grow or increase to a high point or level Excitement was building.



Kids Definition of build (Entry 2 of 2)

: the shape and size of a person's or animal's body The boy has a slender build.

Choose the Right Synonym for build


build, construct, and erect mean to make a structure. build is used for putting together several parts or materials to form something. Workers are building the house. construct is used for the designing of something and the process of fitting its parts together. Engineers constructed a system of dams across the river. erect is used for the idea of building something that stands up. The tower was erected many years ago.

More from Merriam-Webster on build

Nglish: Translation of build for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of build for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about build


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