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

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Other Words from infrastructure

infrastructural \ ˈin-​frə-​ˌstrək-​chə-​rəl How to pronounce infrastructural (audio) , -​ˌstrək-​shrəl How to pronounce infrastructural (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 Like railways in the 19th century and subsequent infrastructure projects, globe-spanning satellite broadband may become a viable proposition once the initial investors, who often overpay exuberantly, have been wiped out. The Economist, "Schumpeter Elon, Masa and Boris in low-Earth orbit," 11 July 2020 The administration’s plan to overhaul requirements that developers conduct environmental reviews for major infrastructure projects isn’t likely to help oil and gas pipelines if federal agencies continue to cut corners, energy analysts say. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: Clearing up confusion about House GOP stance on net-zero emissions by 2050 target," 7 July 2020 The two have been proposing radical, speculative infrastructure concepts for two decades as a means of questioning the status quo of 21st century urban planning. Gregory Thomas,, "It’s time to rethink downtown SF. Here’s one of the most radical visions out there," 12 July 2020 The original plan, estimated to cost over $2 billion, would have been Alabama’s largest infrastructure project in history. al, "Can Jeff Sessions roar back into Senate, or will Trump ruin an otherwise perfect political career?," 10 July 2020 While the state's public health infrastructure had predated the labeling of the Wisconsin Idea, the notion was part and parcel of how the UW gave back to the state. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "In 1918, the University of Wisconsin's expertise and the 'Wisconsin Idea' proved crucial in fighting a pandemic," 10 July 2020 The first part of the former vice president's proposal is a $400 billion investment by the federal government to purchase American products such as cement, concrete, steel, and other materials to rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Fox News, "Biden pushes populist 'made in America' plan to pump up economy," 10 July 2020 The House passed a $1.5 trillion transportation and infrastructure measure last week that includes an array of new car safety requirements. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Congress inches toward mandating car technology that blocks drunk driving," 9 July 2020 The health care and infrastructure sectors are also going to see a surge in investment, Shah said. Manuel Baigorri, Fortune, "How India became an unlikely M&A hotspot," 9 July 2020

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.

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First Known Use of infrastructure

1927, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for infrastructure

Time Traveler

The first known use of infrastructure was in 1927

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Statistics for infrastructure

Last Updated

4 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Infrastructure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce infrastructure (audio)

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

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