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

The structural changes to China’s economy and energy system are not accidental. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Energy shifts could mean China’s carbon emissions are done growing," 5 July 2018 In young people, this folding difference may be the most obvious structural feature of the autism brain, says Ralph-Axel Müller, professor of psychology at San Diego State University, who led the study. Rachel Zamzow, Scientific American, "Brains of Children with Autism Show Unusual Folding Patterns," 9 July 2018 Maybe, the researchers thought, Kabwe’s pronounced brow ridge did not serve a structural or mechanical function. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Expressive Eyebrows May Have Given Modern Humans an Evolutionary Edge," 10 Apr. 2018 Over time, much of the sculpture has taken on some unified stylistic and structural components. James Tarmy,, "The Smithsonian’s Burning Man Art Show Is Actually Quite Good," 30 Mar. 2018 Although imaging did not reveal any structural damage, the Padres had slow-played his path back to the rotation as Lyles had never reported any issue with his throwing arm before he was scratched from his June 24 start. Jeff Sanders,, "Padres' Jordan Lyles 'sharp' in sim game as he nears return," 14 July 2018 Investigators responding to an alarm found structural damage and broken windows throughout the downtown business block. Max Londberg, kansascity, "Authorities announce reward for info on explosion outside Kansas barber shop," 6 July 2018 Maple Park Police Chief Dean Stiegemeier said the village experienced wind and rain but not enough to down tree limbs or cause structural damage. Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, "No damage from 'brief' tornado in Kane County near Maple Park," 27 June 2018 The store was ordered closed until further notice because structural damage in the incident left the building unusable until necessary repairs are made. Bob Bong, Daily Southtown, "Comings & Goings: Salvation Army store closed in Bridgeview," 26 June 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

9 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for structural

The first known use of structural was in 1801

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More Definitions for structural



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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playful or foolish behavior

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