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

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 Almost all of its infrastructure was destroyed in the insurgency. New York Times, "A Homecoming for Nigerians Who Fled Militants. All That’s Missing Is the ‘Home.’," 10 July 2018 Income inequality is at unacceptable levels in Massachusetts and, at the same time, our transportation infrastructure is woefully inadequate and our schools are struggling to provide a quality education to every student. Jason Lewis, BostonGlobe.com, "Should the Legislature revive the push for a millionaires tax?," 5 July 2018 In March, Congress passed an election-security measure to provide a one-time grant of $380 million to state officials to upgrade and harden their election infrastructure. Warren Richey, The Christian Science Monitor, "Ahead of midterms, states scrambling to fend off cyberattacks," 3 July 2018 Europe wants to have their own infrastructure in space, with Galileo and Copernicus. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "European rocket chief: Trump rhetoric strengthens our commitment to space," 2 July 2018 If solar panels or wind turbines are producing more energy than their infrastructure can handle, for example, that excess can be siphoned off into storage. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Tesla Is Revving Up to Build the World's Largest Battery Farm in California," 2 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

7 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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