The slow growth or increase of something is a buildup. Over the course of a winter storm, there will be a buildup of snow on the car that's parked in your driveway.

The process of something collecting or growing is a buildup, and so is its result. As you buy more and more things with a credit card, you'll see a buildup of debt. And If you venture into your uncle's spooky attic where no one's dared to go for years, there's bound to be a buildup of dust on every surface. Buildup has also come to mean "increasing excitement, preparation, or publicity," like the buildup before Christmas at the mall.

Definitions of buildup

n the act of building up an accumulation

“I envied his rapid buildup of assets”
“a military buildup in preparation for the invasion”
deposit, deposition
the act of putting something somewhere
repositing, reposition, storage, warehousing
depositing in a warehouse
Type of:
accrual, accruement, accumulation
the act of accumulating

n the result of the process of accumulation

“the buildup of leaves blocked the drain pipes”
Type of:
accretion, accumulation
an increase by natural growth or addition

n highly favorable publicity and praise

“his letter of recommendation gave her a terrific buildup
Type of:
packaging, promotion, promotional material, publicity
a message issued in behalf of some product or cause or idea or person or institution

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