structure

noun
struc·​ture | \ ˈstrək-chər How to pronounce structure (audio) \

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 How to pronounce structuring (audio) , 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 How to pronounce structureless (audio) \ adjective
structurelessness \ ˈstrək-​chər-​ləs-​nəs How to pronounce structurelessness (audio) \ 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

By Saturday afternoon, the giglio structure was decorated in papier-mâché angels and lilies, and draped with an enormous rosary. Derek M. Norman, New York Times, "A 72-Foot Spire and a 116-Year-Old Tradition in Need of a Few Brooklyn Hipsters," 11 July 2019 Besides the jewel and a pair of cufflinks, researchers digging in May and June uncovered nails, pipes, drinking vessels, Delft china, parts of a pocket watch and many other items preserved in the structure. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "‘Seditious’ Pressed Glass Jewel Found in 18th-Century North Carolina Tavern," 10 July 2019 Over the weekend, four structure fires were reported within about 14 hours, something that is unusual for the town of about 28,000. Amir Vera And Sara Sidner, CNN, "Living in fear near the epicenter of the California earthquakes," 8 July 2019 In the new structure, both positions Mr. Donald holds are expected to report to the chief compliance officer, who in turn will report to the chief executive, Arnold Donald, with an additional dotted line to the board of directors. Kristin Broughton, WSJ, "Carnival, Under Court Order, Gives Compliance Unit More Independence," 8 July 2019 The earthquake caused multiple structure fires, thousands of power outages, road ruptures and water and gas leaks. Washington Post, "California had its largest earthquake in years - then an even bigger one hit," 6 July 2019 The quake that hit Friday at 8:19 p.m. in rural Kern County shook Southern California, damaging roadways and causing an unknown number of injuries and structure fires. Marilyn Kalfus, The Mercury News, "State of emergency declared for San Bernardino County as search and rescue crews head to Ridgecrest in wake of 7.1 earthquake," 6 July 2019 The Kern County Fire Department reported that firefighters and other emergency personnel responded to roughly nearly two dozen incidents in and around Ridgecrest, ranging from medical assistance to structure fires. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "Hundreds of aftershocks follow Ridgecrest earthquake, California's strongest in 20 years," 5 July 2019 Authorities in Ridgecrest received dozens of calls for help on Thursday, responding to requests for medical assistance and help with structure fires. Alexa Díaz, latimes.com, "‘Alcohol was just flooding the aisle’: Ridgecrest market has lots to clean after quake," 5 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Well-paced and deftly structured, the doc presents its rich and lucid look at Morrison’s personal and literary past by largely, but not entirely, adhering to chronology. Gary Goldstein, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: ‘Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am’ powerfully profiles beloved writer," 11 July 2019 In 2018, the US imported $897.5 million worth of fabricated structured steel from China, and $622.4 million worth from Mexico, according to the Commerce Department. Laura He, CNN, "US imposes duties on some steel products from China and Mexico," 9 July 2019 Here, Davies talks with Variety about structuring the show to start in our present day and flash into a potential future. Danielle Turchiano, chicagotribune.com, "Russell Davies’ ‘Years and Years’ asks ‘what if’ and goes beyond," 1 July 2019 But the moderators, a team from NBC news, consistently structured the questioning so Sanders and Biden would follow one another, and their contrasting core values were apparent throughout. Tovin Lapan, Fortune, "Joe Biden vs. Bernie Sanders: Second Debate Puts Rivals on Full Display," 28 June 2019 But in this case, Tintoretto has breathed air into his giant vision, clustered his figures into meaningful groups and structured the whole thing around a series of diagonals that converge on Christ on the cross. Washington Post, "Seeing Tintoretto is Venice is very nice. But so is seeing his works in a well-lit museum.," 27 June 2019 Though several pools remain closed, Fischer's administration previously announced 10 community events at two YMCA locations and structured swims at Central High School's pool. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "A splash of good news: One pool in Louisville will open this summer, lawmaker says," 27 June 2019 Less than a month ago, the 22-year-old prospect was still at the United States Air Force Academy, acclimated to a heavily structured routine, in which every day was broken down minute-by-minute. Wells Dusenbury, sun-sentinel.com, "Uncle Sam wants you (Marlins’ Nic Ready) to play baseball," 27 June 2019 Barber-Just enlisted two University of Massachusetts journalism professors to help with reporting and structuring an investigative feature story. Teen Vogue, "These Massachusetts Student Journalists Exposed Their High School’s Use of Prison Labor," 24 June 2019

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

14 Jul 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 How to pronounce structure (audio) \

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 How to pronounce structure (audio) \

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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Comments on structure

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