As a verb, build describes the process of turning source code into an executable or library. This involves compile, assembly, and linking stages. This is initiated by the make command.

As a noun, build refers to the final product of the above from a specific source code revision. For example, in "professional" software development firms, there is usually a daily build from which QA and developers work. They are numbered by date or simply given a serial number (as in Windows NT builds, eg. "Build 1381").