infrastructure

noun
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

Women’s Strength Coalition believes that access to fitness infrastructure, health education, and mental health care are limited for those that would benefit from them the most. SELF, "8 Influencers Making the Wellness World More Inclusive," 7 Nov. 2018 We’re done with phase one, which is developing indicators for the environment, infrastructure, economy, and society, and the tourist experience. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Iceland Is Not Overrun With Tourists, Despite What Everyone Says," 25 Oct. 2018 Moving that manufacturing infrastructure would be costly. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Trump renews call for Apple to make its products in the US," 8 Sep. 2018 When Cancer’s emotional infrastructure is stable, these crabs are delighted to come out of their shells and have some fun in the sun. Allure, "How the Sun's Position In Your Birth Chart Affects Your Zodiac Sign," 14 Aug. 2018 The theory behind creating tax increment districts, or TIFs, is that a municipality will agree to spend money upfront on infrastructure, incentives or other costs to spur a development that would not otherwise happen. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Seeing red: Which Milwaukee suburbs are closest to their debt limits?," 11 July 2018 The process would require the city to condemn Black Hills’ assets, force the company to hand over its local infrastructure and potentially form its own nonprofit utility. Justin Worland/pueblo, Time, "How One Industrial City Is Fighting to Go Green," 12 July 2018 Satellite photos have shown that North Korea has been expanding a key missile manufacturing plant and upgrading its nuclear infrastructure at Yongbyon. Michael R. Gordon, WSJ, "Trump Cites Kim Letter as Sign of Progress With North Korea," 12 July 2018 Perhaps the most obvious example is our inability, in the United States, to upgrade our infrastructure. Stanley M. Bergman, Fortune, "To Be a Better Nation, Bring Back Civility," 10 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

21 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for infrastructure

The first known use of infrastructure was in 1927

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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

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