build up

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See also: build-up and buildup



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build up (third-person singular simple present builds up, present participle building up, simple past and past participle built up)

  1. To erect; to construct.
  2. To close up by building.
    to build up a door
  3. (intransitive, transitive, idiomatic) To accumulate, to pile up, to increase in stages.
    • 1962 April, R. K. Evans, “The Acceptance Testing of Diesel Locomotives”, in Modern Railways, page 268:
      The first English Electric units were not fitted with an anti-slip brake, but a hurried consultation of the wiring diagram showed that it should be possible to hold in the low-voltage anti-slip relay for long enough to let speed build up without cutting off the motor current.
    • 2010 December 29, Chris Whyatt, “Chelsea 1-0 Bolton”, in BBC:
      Their first half was marred by the entire side playing too deep, completely unable to build up any form of decent possession once the ball left their bewildered defence.
    • 2013 July-August, Stephen P. Lownie, David M. Pelz, “Stents to Prevent Stroke”, in American Scientist:
      As we age, the major arteries of our bodies frequently become thickened with plaque, a fatty material with an oatmeal-like consistency that builds up along the inner lining of blood vessels.
    Ever since the secretary left, the letters in my inbox have started to build up.
  4. (transitive, idiomatic) To strengthen.
    They had to build up their fortress to protect against attack.
    • 1925 July – 1926 May, A[rthur] Conan Doyle, “(please specify the chapter number)”, in The Land of Mist (eBook no. 0601351h.html), Australia: Project Gutenberg Australia, published April 2019:
      "It took it out of me, though. I'm a rag this morning." "They work you too hard, dear. I'll take you to Margate and build you up." "Well, maybe at Easter we could do a week."
  5. (card games) In solitaire card games, to place a card over another card of lower value. (e.g., place 5 over 4♣)



Derived terms[edit]



build up

  1. Misspelling of buildup.