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 , -​(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

The legislation sets up a process to build 5G infrastructure on state property, and also establishes a process for municipalities that are interested in taking advantage of the technology in cases where utility or light poles are not available. Daniela Altimari,, "Gov. Lamont celebrates legislation speeding up 5G technology in Connecticut," 15 July 2019 Additional units will allow the cost of infrastructure projects to be paid for by more customers, lowering the cost for all. Akira Kyles,, "128 new homes to be built in New Windsor over next several years, town says," 15 July 2019 Like fintech startups, health tech startups are often building technical infrastructure from scratch and innovating solutions in a sector that has been slow to evolve over the years. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "Startups trying to fix Nigeria’s broken healthcare system are winning global investor interest," 10 July 2019 Cutting back to a staff of eight means the group leading what has the potential to be one of the largest infrastructure projects in the world will be nearly as small as its board of directors, which is composed of seven individuals. Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska Gasline Development Corp. cuts over half of its staff," 10 July 2019 In a 40-page pamphlet and 96-page breakdown, officials laid out an initiative to raise $50 billion from private investors and Gulf States for Palestinian infrastructure projects and job creation over the next 10 years. Fox News, "Jared Kushner says successful Mideast peace plan will be ‘Iran’s worst nightmare’," 26 June 2019 No one built up the infrastructure to handle this, and now people are suffering at the border for it. Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, "ICE Agents Are Losing Patience with Trump’s Chaotic Immigration Policy," 24 June 2019 The city’s new department could supplement RTD’s service in a couple ways, including by building the physical infrastructure for bus-rapid transit and by paying for additional RTD service in the city. Andrew Kenney, The Denver Post, "New Denver focus on transportation heading to voters in November," 24 June 2019 Centrists don’t just need to build a traditional party infrastructure, with MPs, local offices and dutiful but tame members. The Economist, "The centre cannot hold - the failure of Change UK and the atrophying of political thought," 19 June 2019

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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Statistics for infrastructure

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for infrastructure

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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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).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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