in·fra·struc·ture | \ˈin-frə-ˌstrək-chər, -(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, -ˌstrək-shrəl, -(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

Republicans, meanwhile, are investing in party infrastructure like the Republican National Committee and outside spending groups. Alana Abramson, Time, "This Republican Super PAC Raised $51 Million to Try and Save the Party's House Majority," 12 July 2018 In the face of this growth, the City of Atlanta and the region is looking to continued to ramp up investment in transportation infrastructure, Mike Alexander, Director of the Center for Livable Communities at the Atlanta Regional Commission, said. Alex Soderstrom, ajc, "Atlanta metro population on pace to pass Philadelphia as 8th largest," 23 June 2018 Upchurch also said updating the area’s outdated infrastructure was a key issue in the district, as well as banning offshore drilling. Steven Lemongello,, "Congress District 6: Where 6 candidates stand on issues," 13 July 2018 Well, probably -- yes, probably that's because the commutes are so bad, because the infrastructure is so bad. Fox News, "President Trump puts NATO on notice," 12 July 2018 On Filicudi, the pace of change is slow (appropriately, the island looks like a turtle when seen from above, according to Anastasi), and the island’s tourism infrastructure is modest. Howie Kahn, Smithsonian, "These Volcanic, Italian Islands Have Been Beloved by Travelers Since Homeric Times," 11 July 2018 Most of the neighborhoods affected were south of Mulholland Drive, where electrical infrastructure is decades older than in the San Fernando Valley, DWP officials said. Javier Panzar,, "Hundreds of customers are still without power as hot and angry Angelenos fume at the DWP," 10 July 2018 Image: SpaceX The infrastructure has been in place for a while to do land landings at Vandenberg, though. Loren Grush, The Verge, "SpaceX may finally land one of its rockets on the California coast later this year," 6 July 2018 Israel has largely stayed out of Syria’s civil war but has carried on a shadow war in Syria with Iran, which has taken advantage of the chaos to build a military infrastructure in Syria. New York Times, "Netanyahu Says Putin Agreed to Restrain Iran in Syria," 12 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.

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First Known Use of infrastructure

1927, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

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The first known use of infrastructure was in 1927

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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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