build up


a building up, as of military forces; increase in amount or number.
a process of growth; strengthening; development: the buildup of heavy industry.
an accumulation, as of a particular type of material: a buildup of salt deposits.
an increase, as in potential, intensity, or pressure: A buildup of suspense began halfway through the movie.
a progressive or sequential development: the buildup of helium atoms from hydrogen.
praise or publicity designed to enhance a reputation or popularize someone or something: The studio spent $100,000 on the new star's buildup.
a process of preparation designed to make possible the achievement of an ultimate objective: a lengthy buildup to a sales pitch.
encouragement; a psychological lift: Every time I need a buildup, I look at her picture.
Also, build-up.

1925–30, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase build up Unabridged


verb (used with object), built or (Archaic) builded; building.
to construct (especially something complex) by assembling and joining parts or materials: to build a house.
to establish, increase, or strengthen (often followed by up ): to build a business; to build up one's hopes.
to mold, form, or create: to build boys into men.
to base; found: a relationship built on trust.
to make (words) from letters.
to assemble (cards) according to number, suit, etc., as in melding.
verb (used without object), built or (Archaic) builded; building.
to engage in the art, practice, or business of building.
to form or construct a plan, system of thought, etc. (usually followed by on or upon ): He built on the philosophies of the past.
to increase or develop toward a maximum, as of intensity, tempo, or magnitude (often followed by up ): The drama builds steadily toward a climax.
the physical structure, especially of a person; physique; figure: He had a strong build.
the manner or form of construction: The house was of modern build.
a version of a program after compilation, typically an update to an existing version made before the program is released.
the process of producing a software build.
a new version or update of data in a database or on a website: frequent, incremental builds of data.
a vertical joint.
the vertical dimension of a stone laid on its bed.
Verb phrases
build in/into, to build or incorporate as part of something else: to build in bookcases between the windows; an allowance for travel expenses built into the budget.
build up,
to develop or increase: to build up a bank account.
to strengthen.
to prepare in stages.
to fill in with houses; develop into an urban area.
to praise or flatter.

before 1150; Middle English bilden, Old English byldan, derivative of bold, variant of botl dwelling, house

buildable, adjective
misbuild, verb, misbuilt, misbuilding.
outbuild, verb (used with object), outbuilt, outbuilding.
prebuild, verb (used with object), prebuilt, prebuilding.
superbuild, verb, superbuilt, superbuilding.
unbuildable, adjective
underbuild, verb, underbuilt, underbuilding.

billed, build. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
build (bɪld)
vb (foll by on or upon) (often foll by up) , builds, building, built
1.  to make, construct, or form by joining parts or materials: to build a house
2.  (intr) to be a builder by profession
3.  (tr) to order the building of: the government builds most of our hospitals
4.  to base; found: his theory was not built on facts
5.  (tr) to establish and develop: it took ten years to build a business
6.  (tr) to make in a particular way or for a particular purpose: the car was not built for speed
7.  to increase in intensity: the wind was building
8.  cards
 a.  to add cards to each other to form (a sequence or set)
 b.  (intr) to add to the layout of cards on the table from one's hand
9.  physical form, figure, or proportions: a man with an athletic build
[Old English byldan; related to bylda farmer, bold building, Old Norse bōl farm, dwelling; see bower1]

build up
1.  (tr) to construct gradually, systematically, and in stages
2.  to increase, accumulate, or strengthen, esp by degrees: the murmur built up to a roar
3.  (intr) to prepare for or gradually approach a climax
4.  (tr) to improve the health or physique of (a person)
5.  (tr, usually passive) to cover (an area) with buildings
6.  (tr) to cause (a person, enterprise, etc) to become better known; publicize: they built several actresses up into stars
7.  progressive increase in number, size, etc: the build-up of industry
8.  a gradual approach to a climax or critical point
9.  the training and practice that constitutes the preparation for a particular event or competition: the team's Olympic build-up
10.  extravagant publicity or praise, esp in the form of a campaign
11.  military the process of attaining the required strength of forces and equipment, esp prior to an operation

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late O.E. byldan "construct a house," verb form of bold "house," from P.Gmc. *buthlam (cf. O.Fris. bodel "building, house"), from PIE *bhu- "to dwell," from base *bheue- "to be, exist, grow." Rare in O.E.; in M.E. it won out over more common O.E. timbran. Modern spelling is unexplained.

1927, "accumulation of positive publicity," from build + up. Of any accumulation (but especially military) from 1943.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

build up

  1. Fill an area with houses or other buildings, urbanize. For example, We want to protect the wetlands against those who want to build up the area. [c. 1400]

  2. Gradually develop, increase in stages. For example, I want to build up my endurance for the race. [Early 1700s]

  3. Accumulate or collect, as in A lot of rust has built up on the farm machinery. [Mid-1900s]

  4. Increase, strengthen, develop toward, as in The sound built up until it was nearly deafening, or His argument was building up to a grand climax. [c. 1930]

  5. Establish or enhance a reputation; praise or flatter. For example, Months before the official campaign could begin, they had been building up the senator's image. [c. 1930]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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