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 infrastructure (audio) , -​ˌstrək-​shrəl How to pronounce infrastructure (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 Throughout our history, public investments and infrastructure have transformed America. Tim Darnell, ajc, "READ: Full text of President Joe Biden’s first speech before Congress," 29 Apr. 2021 Innovation does not require an overhaul of technology or infrastructure. Debarshi Chaudhury, Forbes, "How To Discover Innovation At Your Company," 28 Apr. 2021 White House officials described the plan in language focused on economic growth and job creation, reflecting the way Biden has framed another ambitious spending proposal aimed at infrastructure. Sarah Westwood, Washington Examiner, "Biden to pitch progressive agenda in centrist language during first joint address," 28 Apr. 2021 Last month, Biden laid out a massive plan to improve the nation's infrastructure and shift to greener energy. Maegan Vazquez, CNN, "Biden's first 100 days: What he's gotten done," 28 Apr. 2021 The CBS News polling unit will also provide insights on Mr. Biden's first 100 days and how Americans view his handling of the pandemic and the economy, plus infrastructure proposals, race relations and their outlook for the challenges ahead. Caroline Linton, CBS News, "How to watch President Biden's address before the joint session of Congress," 28 Apr. 2021 Tax reporting, financial surveillance, and the legendarily antiquated IRS computer system all need to be improved, the fact sheet argues – which leads us to the conclusion that the IRS is now critical infrastructure. James Freeman, WSJ, "The IRS Is Biden’s Infrastructure," 28 Apr. 2021 The latest package would be paid for in part by turning back some Trump-era tax cuts for wealthy individuals, much like Biden’s call for higher corporate taxes to finance the infrastructure plans. Los Angeles Times, "Biden’s ‘Families Plan’ would tax rich to help schools, childcare, community college and more," 28 Apr. 2021 Congressional Republicans have questioned its proposals to raise corporate taxes to fund improvements to the nation’s roads, bridges and other infrastructure. Jeff Barker,, "VP Kamala Harris to visit Baltimore on Biden administration’s 100th day, tout COVID relief, recovery," 28 Apr. 2021

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

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Infrastructure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for infrastructure



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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