in·​fra·​struc·​ture | \ ˈin-frə-ˌstrək-chər How to pronounce infrastructure (audio) , -(ˌ)frä- \

Definition of infrastructure

1 : the system of public works of a country, state, or region also : the resources (such as personnel, buildings, or equipment) required for an activity
2 : the underlying foundation or basic framework (as of a system or organization)
3 : the permanent installations required for military purposes

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from infrastructure

infrastructural \ ˈin-​frə-​ˌstrək-​chə-​rəl How to pronounce infrastructure (audio) , -​ˌstrək-​shrəl How to pronounce infrastructure (audio) , -​(ˌ)frä-​ \ adjective

Did You Know?

Infra- means "below;" so the infrastructure is the "underlying structure" of a country and its economy, the fixed installations that it needs in order to function. These include roads, bridges, dams, the water and sewer systems, railways and subways, airports, and harbors. These are generally government-built and publicly owned. Some people also speak about such things as the intellectual infrastructure or the infrastructure of science research, but the meaning of such notions can be extremely vague.

Examples of infrastructure in a Sentence

More money is needed to save the crumbling infrastructure of the nation's rural areas. We need to spend more money on maintaining and repairing infrastructure.
Recent Examples on the Web The city hopes to update infrastructure that is more than 50 years old by rebuilding ramps, upgrading 32 bridges and generally improving the flow of traffic. Rashika Jaipuriar, The Indianapolis Star, "North Split closure begins Saturday. Here's what to know about detours, traffic, more.," 10 May 2021 Cybersecurity experts have recently called on the Biden administration and Congress to shore up the nation's digital infrastructure. Grace Segers, CBS News, "Cyberattack prompts major pipeline operator to halt operations," 9 May 2021 In March, the senators introduced the Border Water Quality Restoration and Protection Act that would designate the EPA as the lead agency and require it to coordinate all federal, state and local agencies to build and maintain infrastructure. San Diego Union-Tribune, "South Bay residents, officials call for faster action on Tijuana-San Diego sewage problem," 9 May 2021 Attackers targeting energy critical infrastructure have become more technologically sophisticated and include state actors and criminal gangs. Chuck Brooks, Forbes, "4 Beckoning Cyber-Threat Challenges," 9 May 2021 However, any of the new options on the table would need time to build new infrastructure -- meaning that for now, any ship coming in must take the current route. Julia Buckley, CNN, "The truth about cruise ships in Venice," 8 May 2021 Losing that social and economic infrastructure left them prone to gangs and violence. Jon Hilsenrath And Joe Barrett, WSJ, "Murders Are Rising the Most in a Few Isolated Precincts of Major Cities," 8 May 2021 One, called the American Jobs Act, would spend about $2 trillion to upgrade infrastructure like roads and bridges and expand high-speed internet access, while also investing in electric vehicles and taking other steps to address climate change., "A disappointing jobs report shows rocky road for the recovery and Biden’s efforts to push new spending," 8 May 2021 Crista Taylor, president and CEO of Behavioral Health Systems Baltimore, said the call line will build a crisis response infrastructure that cities like Baltimore could benefit from. Hallie Miller,, "Baltimore pilot program aims to divert some 911 calls for behavioral health from police," 7 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'infrastructure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of infrastructure

1927, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about infrastructure

Time Traveler for infrastructure

Time Traveler

The first known use of infrastructure was in 1927

See more words from the same year

Statistics for infrastructure

Last Updated

13 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Infrastructure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for infrastructure



English Language Learners Definition of infrastructure

: the basic equipment and structures (such as roads and bridges) that are needed for a country, region, or organization to function properly

Comments on infrastructure

What made you want to look up infrastructure? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!