infrastructure

noun
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 infrastructural (audio) , -​ˌstrək-​shrəl , -​(ˌ)frä-​ How to pronounce infrastructural (audio) \ 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

With infrastructure improvements, the top speed in the Northeast Corridor could increase to 186 mph. Jo Craven Mcginty, WSJ, "Will New Train Guidelines Improve Speeds? Not So Fast," 11 Jan. 2019 Those people overwhelmingly cited jobs (92 percent) as the reason for their approval, while nearly 60 percent said investment in public works and infrastructure improvements was their reason. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How Kevin Hart tweeted himself out of a job hosting the Oscars," 8 Dec. 2018 Sweden, for example, subsidizes infrastructure improvements meant to eliminate the need for cars as part of a nationwide strategy to eliminate traffic deaths. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "How traveling abroad with kids showed me how to fix U.S. transit," 14 Sep. 2018 Rostov-on-Don got an almost identical aid package as Nizhny Novgorod to spend on infrastructure improvements: new airport terminals and roads, as well as a new stadium that opened in May. But not every project begun for the World Cup was completed. Ivan Nechepurenko, New York Times, "Peeking Around Corners in the World Cup’s Provincial Cities," 14 July 2018 But after decades of pollution controls and infrastructure improvements, and 10 years after a federal consent decree, the City of Indianapolis is hoping to shape a brighter future for the White River. Emily Hopkins, Indianapolis Star, "We 'turned our back' on the White River. Now, Indianapolis wants to make it a destination.," 10 July 2018 The money generated by the difference between the property tax bill before development and after development — the increment — can then be used for infrastructure improvements to the land. Erin Sauder, Elgin Courier-News, "East Dundee gives land to developers planning to build apartment buildings," 10 July 2018 Waukegan has been awarded $2.1 million by the U.S. Department of Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration to make roadway and water infrastructure improvements aimed to grow the city’s economy. Yadira Sanchez Olson, Lake County News-Sun, "Waukegan gets $2.1M in federal grants for road and water work, including at least 2 projects on lakefront," 6 July 2018 Voter approval of a bond could be necessary for infrastructure improvements. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Does anyone running for governor have a new idea? We asked the candidates," 6 July 2018

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

Share infrastructure

Statistics for infrastructure

Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for infrastructure

The first known use of infrastructure was in 1927

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for infrastructure

infrastructure

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

a shady place in a garden or forest

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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