struc·​tur·​al | \ ˈstrək-chə-rəl , ˈstrək-shrəl\

Definition of structural

1 : of or relating to the physical makeup of a plant or animal body structural defects of the heart
2a : of, relating to, or affecting structure structural stability
b : used in building structures structural clay
c : involved in or caused by structure especially of the economy structural unemployment
3 : of, relating to, or resulting from the effects of folding or faulting of the earth's crust : tectonic
4 : concerned with or relating to structure rather than history or comparison structural linguistics

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Other Words from structural

structurally adverb

Examples of structural in a Sentence

The house suffered no structural damage.

Recent Examples on the Web

When tearing out structural elements, such as walls or windows, consider the potential visual clash of modern building techniques with older ones. Kate Wagner, Curbed, "To renovate or not to renovate?," 5 Sep. 2018 Some of the problems are structural, like the extremely inequitable financial situation that rewards some teams (like Ferrari and Red Bull) more for just showing up than others could possibly earn through race results. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Formula 1 cars are about to go through a big change, but is it good?," 24 July 2018 While Pardue's luminous paintings have an inclination toward abstract organic shapes and botanical forms, Wiseman's subject matter tends toward more structural elements. Sarah Bonnette,, ""Intersections" explores how two artists connect to their work," 7 Mar. 2018 According to BBC News, scientists from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) discovered the temple while scanning the pyramid for structural issues. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Earthquake Reveals 12th-Century Temple Hidden Within Aztec Pyramid," 12 July 2018 The remaining gap, according to the BBC’s analysis, resulted from structural issues, with too few women in senior leadership roles and more women than men in the work force’s lowest quartile. Ceylan Yeginsu, New York Times, "BBC Closes Gender Pay Gap, but Men Are Still Its 12 Highest-Paid Stars," 11 July 2018 But the structural issues remain, and the problems have been ameliorated, not resolved. Sean Illing, Vox, "What a 1963 RFK-James Baldwin meeting teaches us about race in Trump’s America," 8 June 2018 JFK Stadium had fallen into a state of disrepair, and was condemned days after the show as unsafe due to structural issues and fire hazards, according to an Inquirer report from that year. Nick Vadala,, "Grateful Dead's legendary 1989 JFK Stadium performance is coming to the big screen," 7 June 2018 Phoenix fire investigators believe a church collapsed near Buckeye Road Wednesday because of structural issues, not a natural gas explosion. Bayan Wang, azcentral, "Officials: Structural issues, not gas explosion, triggered church collapse," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'structural.' 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 structural

1801, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

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Last Updated

2 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for structural

The first known use of structural was in 1801

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English Language Learners Definition of structural

: relating to the way something is built or organized : relating to the structure of something


struc·​tur·​al | \ ˈstrək-chə-rəl \

Kids Definition of structural

: relating to or affecting the way in which something is built structural defects


struc·​tur·​al | \ ˈstrək-chə-rəl, ˈstrək-shrəl \

Medical Definition of structural

1 : of or relating to the physical makeup of a plant or animal body structural defects of the heart — compare functional sense 1a
2 : of, relating to, or affecting structure structural stability

Other Words from structural

structurally \ -​ē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on structural

Spanish Central: Translation of structural

Nglish: Translation of structural for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of structural for Arabic Speakers

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esteemed in general opinion

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