build up

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
build up vb (adverb)
  1. (transitive) to construct gradually, systematically, and in stages
  2. to increase, accumulate, or strengthen, esp by degrees: the murmur built up to a roar
  3. (intransitive) to prepare for or gradually approach a climax
  4. (transitive) to improve the health or physique of (a person)
n build-up
  1. progressive increase in number, size, etc: the build-up of industry
  2. a gradual approach to a climax or critical point
  3. extravagant publicity or praise, esp in the form of a campaign
  4. the process of attaining the required strength of forces and equipment, esp prior to an operation
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
build /bɪld/USA pronunciation   v.,  built/bɪlt/USA pronunciation  build•ing, n. 
  1. to make (a house, etc.) by putting together parts: [+ object]How many years did it take to build the Empire State Building?[no object]The town wants to build in that area.
  2. to start, increase, or strengthen;
    grow intense: [~ (+ up) + object]He came to this country and built (up) the family business.[+ object (+ up)]to build it (up).[no object;  (~ + up)]The tension in that story builds (up) toward a climax.See build up below.
  3. to form, shape, or create:[+ object (+ into)]The military school builds boys into men.
  4. build in or into, [+ in/into + object] to make something a part of something else: An allowance for travel was built into the budget.
  5. build on or upon, [+ on/upon + object]
    • to have as a basis:a relationship built on trust.
    • to form or construct a plan, system of thought, etc.: to build on the philosophies of the past.
  6. build up, [+ up + object]
    • to develop, strengthen, or increase:She built up my confidence.
    • to improve the strength or health of:weightlifting to build up his body.
    • to fill up with houses or other buildings:My old neighborhood has really been built up.

n. [countable;  singular]
  1. the shape or structure of a person's body or muscles;
    physique:She had a strong build.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
build  (bild),USA pronunciation v.,  built  or (Archaic) build•ed;

  1. to construct (esp. something complex) by assembling and joining parts or materials:to build a house.
  2. to establish, increase, or strengthen (often fol. by up):to build a business; to build up one's hopes.
  3. to mold, form, or create:to build boys into men.
  4. to base;
    found:a relationship built on trust.
  5. Games
    • to make (words) from letters.
    • to assemble (cards) according to number, suit, etc., as in melding.

  1. to engage in the art, practice, or business of building.
  2. to form or construct a plan, system of thought, etc. (usually fol. by on or upon):He built on the philosophies of the past.
  3. to increase or develop toward a maximum, as of intensity, tempo, or magnitude (often fol. by up):The drama builds steadily toward a climax.
  4. build in or  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.
  5. 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.

  1. the physical structure, esp. of a person;
    figure:He had a strong build.
  2. the manner or form of construction:The house was of modern build.
  3. Building[Masonry.]
    • a vertical joint.
    • the vertical dimension of a stone laid on its bed.
builda•ble, adj. 
  • Middle English bilden, Old English byldan, derivative of bold, variant of botl dwelling, house bef. 1150

'build up' also found in these entries (note: many are not synonyms or translations):
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