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 Brookfield Business Partners, which is based in Bermuda but has its headquarters in Toronto, owns an array of services, infrastructure and industrial companies. Guy Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Clarios, one of the state's largest companies, has a new CEO," 18 May 2020 President Donald Trump on April 28 issued an executive order intended to keep the meat production centers open as critical infrastructure. Michael Casagrande |, al, "The problem with meat: Why you’ll be paying more for beef and pork," 13 May 2020 Trump's executive order declaring meat processing plants as critical infrastructure during the COVID-19 national emergency, orders the plants to remain operating., "COVID-19 hits Michigan farmers hard, with some facing prospect of killing livestock," 1 May 2020 The Times recently reported that immigrant farmworkers have begun carrying a copy of the DHS order identifying them as critical infrastructure workers, in case ICE or local police stop them. John Patrick Leary, The New Republic, "The Slippery Definition of an “Essential” Worker," 1 May 2020 President Donald Trump plans to order meat-processing plants to remain open, declaring them critical infrastructure as the nation confronts growing disruptions to the food supply from the coronavirus outbreak, a person familiar with the matter said. Jennifer Jacobs / Bloomberg, Time, "Trump to Order U.S. Meat Plants to Stay Open Amid Supply Fears," 28 Apr. 2020 The war has devastated Yemen’s infrastructure and killed more than 100,000 people. The Economist, "The kingdom’s quagmire Saudi Arabia looks for an exit to the war in Yemen," 18 Apr. 2020 Visiting Americans always express envy at Seoul’s subway system, perhaps the finest in the world, and also at a host of other major pieces of infrastructure and minor everyday conveniences unimaginable back home. Colin Marshall, The New Yorker, "The Comforts of South Korea’s Coronavirus Response," 14 Apr. 2020 Low-lying property, including homes, businesses and some critical infrastructure may be inundated. Mark Torregrossa |, cleveland, "High Wind Warning for eastern Lake Erie, Cleveland area," 12 Apr. 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

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Infrastructure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 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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