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 House Democrats on Monday unveiled a $1.5 trillion — yes, trillion with a T — package that bundled a coronavirus stimulus, an infrastructure bill and various other ideas that have sat on the shelf for years. Mark Olalde, USA TODAY, "Climate Point: Big oil is headed back to court while Congress considers paying for its cleanup," 26 June 2020 Taeken will soon begin infrastructure work for the Saint Nicholas Place development, including bringing in utilities, detention, drainage and landscaping. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Alliance Residential purchase kicks off development of Saint Nicholas School property," 26 June 2020 Like most big companies, BlackRock gives generously to both major political parties, and despite his support for Biden, Fink has advised the Trump administration on everything from infrastructure privatization to the coronavirus. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "Is BlackRock the New Vampire Squid?," 26 June 2020 Since then, water and sanitation infrastructure has been collapsing rapidly. Washington Post, "Zimbabwe copes with diarrhea outbreak which has killed 9," 26 June 2020 In vast parts of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Asia, that meant there was little money from international donors and little pressure on governments to invest in oxygen knowledge, access or infrastructure. Fox News, "Medical oxygen scarce in world's poorest regions during coronavirus pandemic," 24 June 2020 That's not to say that there isn't some concern about quickly scaling up vote-by mail infrastructure without the necessary resources to administer and process ballots, especially in states that don't already have a robust system in place. CBS News, "Trump and Barr say mail-in voting will lead to fraud. Experts say that's not true," 24 June 2020 Evers on Wednesday said the actions wouldn't be tolerated and authorized the Wisconsin National Guard to help local law enforcement protect state buildings and infrastructure. Allison Garfield, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'We're back to square one': Night of chaos lays bare divisions over race, policing in Madison," 24 June 2020 Experts said access could be offered to countries who sign on to Beijing's signature Belt and Road infrastructure initiatives. Ben Westcott, CNN, "China's GPS rival Beidou is now fully operational after final satellite launched," 24 June 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

29 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Infrastructure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 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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