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 The national infrastructure needs help well beyond the grid; the US has to prepare its cities for a world that’s already warming rapidly. Matt Simon, Wired, "Could Biden Rebuild the Economy by Funding Green Energy?," 8 Oct. 2020 It’s the fact that in many districts in California, teachers are mandated to work from their classrooms even when the technological infrastructure of most schools is not able to support every teacher live-streaming simultaneously. Joe Heim, Washington Post, "Pandemic teaching, in their words," 6 Oct. 2020 European cross-border consolidation in the payments industry faces fewer hurdles than bank tie-ups, but could still encounter political opposition given the growing perception that digital infrastructure is strategically important. Rochelle Toplensky, WSJ, "Italian Merger Builds Another Vehicle for Bigger Payments Deals," 5 Oct. 2020 Testing is limited, and the country's health infrastructure is ill-equipped to cope with the pandemic. Samy Magdy, Star Tribune, "Sudanese demand reforms a year after deal with generals," 17 Aug. 2020 The question remains whether the infrastructure is ready to count them. Nina Strochlic, National Geographic, "How mail-in voting began on Civil War battlefields," 14 Aug. 2020 The health care infrastructure in such areas is notoriously weak, rendering them ill-equipped to handle rising coronavirus cases. Washington Post, "As coronavirus cases soar, India’s hospitals race to secure badly needed oxygen," 26 Sep. 2020 With all the people moving here, the needs increase in everything from caring for infrastructure to hiring and retaining deputies to educating students. John Cutter,, "Why tax rates go down but taxes go up," 20 Sep. 2020 Hart explained that five of East Windsor’s 11 vehicles have the dash cams, and the wireless server connection infrastructure is in place. Steve Smith,, "East Windsor to upgrade police body cameras," 18 Sep. 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

15 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Infrastructure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 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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