Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

(a/the) build-up of

a build-up ofthe build-up of
1) an accumulation of something, growing in size/volume
  • How to MemorizePopularity LowProfessional HighSocial
    • the build-up of tension/pressure/dirt
  • Analysis
    This expression refers to a gradual increase in the amount or level of something over a period of time. It most commonly used in a negative sense, and can often be as a result of neglect or disuse. For example, you may notice a 'build-up' of dust on some of the surfaces in your house if they haven't been cleaned in a while. Day-to-day, you may complain about a 'build-up' of traffic on the motorway, or seasonally, a 'build-up' of snow outside. It is therefore mostly used in a social context, and shares a similar meaning to the term 'accumulate.'
  • Social Examples (Advance)
    1. There has been an ongoing build-up of tensions in the Middle-East for decades, which is likely to cause violence.
    2. The build-up of air pressure in a tyre can often cause it to explode.
    3. A build-up of dirt in the pipes caused a blockage and the water wouldn't go down the drain.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. Some customers find that interest and transaction fees build-up over time, accumulating to large amounts over a year.
    2. A good project manager will ensure that work doesn't build-up unexpectedly and tasks are dealt with on an ongoing basis.
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