structure

noun
struc·​ture | \ ˈstrək-chər \

Definition of structure

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the action of building : construction
2a : something (such as a building) that is constructed
b : something arranged in a definite pattern of organization a rigid totalitarian structure— J. L. Hess leaves and other plant structures
3 : manner of construction : makeup Gothic in structure
4a : the arrangement of particles or parts in a substance or body soil structure molecular structure
b : organization of parts as dominated by the general character of the whole economic structure personality structure
c : coherent form or organization tried to give some structure to the children's lives
5 : the aggregate of elements of an entity in their relationships to each other the structure of a language

structure

verb
structured; structuring\ ˈstrək-​chə-​riŋ , ˈstrək-​shriŋ \

Definition of structure (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to form into or according to a structure
2 : construct

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Other Words from structure

Noun

structureless \ ˈstrək-​chər-​ləs \ adjective
structurelessness \ ˈstrək-​chər-​ləs-​nəs \ noun

Synonyms for structure

Synonyms: Noun

building, edifice

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Examples of structure in a Sentence

Noun

They studied the compound's molecular structure. The film had a simple narrative structure. the structure of a plant the social structure of a college campus changes to the company's power structure The structure was damaged by fire. Children need a lot of structure in their lives.

Verb

She structured the essay chronologically.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

It’s destroyed over 7,000 structures and almost 90% of the homes in the town of Paradise, and the death toll is currently at 31 people. Kim Quindlen, Teen Vogue, "Miley Cyrus Loses Home to California Wildfires," 12 Nov. 2018 The combination of a small fire and the Diablo winds created a deadly cocktail, ultimately destroying 2,900 structures, 1,600 acres, and 25 lives. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The 1991 Firestorm That Changed Everything We Thought We Knew About Arson," 8 Nov. 2018 Pair one with polished hair and statement earrings, and offset the structure of the jacket by throwing on a sweater over a silk dress—extra points for multiple, warming layers. Divya Bala, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Nail Statement Style This Winter," 30 Nov. 2018 The building’s striking ornamental northwest entrance is one of the classic structures of what is known as the Chicago School of architecture, a style which accelerated after the Great Fire of 1871. Justin Campbell, ELLE Decor, "Designer Cocktail: The Sullivan," 27 Nov. 2018 The contours and structure of a new airframe itself could also bring new radar signature reducing properties as well as new mission and crew options. Kris Osborn, Fox News, "Marines will fly Osprey until 2060, prepping the aircraft for future wars," 18 Sep. 2018 And down south in Los Angeles County, the Woolsey Fire has destroyed 616 structures, with 57,000 still in danger and three fatalities confirmed. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "For Those Grappling With California Wildfires, Dangerous Air Quality Is a New Risk," 16 Nov. 2018 Since then, the monster fire has ripped through 140,000 acres, laid the town of Paradise (population 26,000) to waste, and destroyed more than 10,000 structures. Eliza Barclay, Vox, "Photos: what California’s lethal wildfires look like on the ground," 15 Nov. 2018 Indeed, 14 of the 20 most destructive fires in California history have taken place since 2000, including the Tubbs Fire in the Santa Rosa area last year that destroyed 5,636 structures and killed 22, according to Cal Fire records. Jim Carlton, WSJ, "Firefighters Battle Deadly California Wildfires," 12 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The long sleeve gown, which seemed to be made of mesh material, featured structured padded shoulders, an open back, and a split in the front that went up to her hips. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Kendall Jenner Wore a Shimmery Gold Dress to The Fashion Awards," 10 Dec. 2018 The festival, structured within the city’s Department of Families, Parks and Recreation, raises money for the nonprofit Orlando Community Youth & Trust. Marco Santana, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Fiesta in the Park a chance for artists, craftspeople to grow," 7 Apr. 2018 The numbers coming out of Britain reflect a globalized society structured so that men hold certain types of jobs and women others. Claire Suddath, Bloomberg.com, "New Numbers Show the Gender Pay Gap Is Real," 29 Mar. 2018 And in the few instances where Ross uses text onscreen, the sentences are as carefully, elegantly structured as the images, carrying narrative and emotional weight that’s deeply affecting. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "The 21 best movies of 2018," 14 Dec. 2018 For starters, structured pantsuits and corporate environs frequently help establish the lead character in these movies as no-nonsense, over-scheduled, and, oftentimes, job-obsessed. Fawnia Soo Hoo, Glamour, "Why You Should Be Paying Attention to the Costumes in All Those Holiday Movies," 7 Dec. 2018 Critics are right, however, in noting that it is not structured as a conventional drama but rather as a monologue. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: A Critical Mass of Absurdist Misapprehensions," 30 Nov. 2018 Photoshop for iPad has a user interface structured similarly to the desktop application. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "The full Photoshop CC is coming to the iPad in 2019," 15 Oct. 2018 Usually, that’s what line does, structuring a composition by demarcating the contours of objects and enabling us to distinguish solid forms from the empty space around them. David Pagel, latimes.com, "Laurie Nye paints her way to Venus. You can join the ride," 16 May 2018

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

Noun

1560, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Verb

1664, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for structure

Noun

Middle English, from Latin structura, from structus, past participle of struere to heap up, build — more at strew

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Statistics for structure

Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for structure

The first known use of structure was in 1560

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More Definitions for structure

structure

noun

English Language Learners Definition of structure

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the way that something is built, arranged, or organized

: the way that a group of people are organized

: something (such as a house, tower, bridge, etc.) that is built by putting parts together and that usually stands on its own

structure

verb

English Language Learners Definition of structure (Entry 2 of 2)

: to arrange or organize (something) in a particular way

structure

noun
struc·​ture | \ ˈstrək-chər \

Kids Definition of structure

1 : something built or arranged in a definite way He entered a small brick structure. We studied leaves and other plant structures.
2 : the manner in which something is built, arranged, or organized the structure of the body

structure

noun
struc·​ture | \ ˈstrək-chər \

Medical Definition of structure

1 : something (as an anatomical part) arranged in a definite pattern of organization
2a : the arrangement of particles or parts in a substance or body molecular structure
b : organization of parts as dominated by the general character of the whole personality structure
3 : the aggregate of elements of an entity in their relationships to each other

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