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

Typically, in structures built for winter sports, ice is a load, not a structural member. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "The Biggest Ice-Climbing Wall in American History," 23 Feb. 2019 An interesting question that arises is how electrons in a fractal structure behave? Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Fractal structure produces fractal electrons with fractal energies," 2 Dec. 2018 In a two-tower structure where the city’s iconic skyline can be taken in via infinity pool, one-year-old Andaz Singapore touches Little India, Kampong Glam, and Bras Basah Bugis. Vogue, "Style Meets Substance—The 7 Must-Visit Shopping Neighborhoods Around the Globe," 24 Oct. 2018 In a video posted to the group’s Facebook page on Sunday, September 2,, a protester identified as Sarah is shown dangling above the tracks in a similar structure to Ballyn’s. Sarah Mearhoff, Teen Vogue, "Australian Youth Activists Are Trying to Shut Down the World's Largest Coal Port," 5 Sep. 2018 My undereye skin is probably just exceptionally thin, allowing blood vessels to shine through, and the blueness is in turn exacerbated by my bone structure, which shrouds the whole mess in shadows. Alice Gregory, Allure, "I Got Fillers for My Chronic Undereye Circles, and the Results Were Impressive," 28 Apr. 2019 Illustration: Crystal Tai Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co. on Thursday laid out details of its ownership structure in an attempt to rebut critics who have cast doubt on the company’s claim that it is owned and run by its employees. Dan Strumpf, WSJ, "Huawei Says It Is Employee-‘Owned’—But Not Really," 25 Apr. 2019 By late Monday night, a force of 400 firefighters had brought the fire under control, and French officials deemed the cathedral’s massive limestone structure safe from collapse. Sam Schechner, WSJ, "Fire Ravages Notre Dame Cathedral," 15 Apr. 2019 Each three-to-four story structure contains work and living spaces and can withstand extreme temperatures, dust, and solar radiation. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Is This Inflatable City What Life Would Look Like on the Moon?," 11 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ashtanga is a style of yoga that links breath to movement, similar to a vinyasa flow class, but is faster-moving, more specifically structured, and has earned a reputation for being somewhat intense. Hannah Chenoweth, SELF, "The 9 Best YouTube Yoga Channels I Discovered While Practicing Yoga at Home for 6 Years," 5 May 2019 In keeping with the book it was based on by Jay Asher, 13 Reasons Why structured itself around 13 tapes Hannah recorded before her death, assigning each one to a reason—a person—who was partly responsible for her decision to end her life. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "13 Reasons Why Tries Again," 17 May 2018 JW Anderson’s Converse collaboration brings the logo trend to sneakers with intersecting text structured like a crossword puzzle. Vogue, "Logo Shoes Are the Latest Aughts Fashion Revival," 19 Apr. 2019 The deal, reached with plaintiffs attorneys, will resolve 25,000 claims and is structured to limit liability going forward. Sara Randazzo, WSJ, "Bayer, Johnson & Johnson to Pay $775 Million to Settle Xarelto Litigation," 25 Mar. 2019 Strategically mixing soft throws and rugs with cozy (but still structured) furniture can create a living space people will gravitate towards. Madeleine Bokan, House Beautiful, "Here's Why Texture Is an Interior Designer's Secret Weapon," 6 Mar. 2019 Time is an especially important structuring factor for feminism, as is history. Josephine Livingstone, New Republic, "On the so-called generational divide in the #MeToo movement," 20 Feb. 2018 Yet given the struggles of students in urban school districts, no proposal should be easily dismissed — so the question remains about whether the portfolio idea might be structured in ways that advance societal goals. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "What’s really going on in Indiana’s public schools," 12 July 2018 Life at Casa Padre is grim: the boys get two hours outside per day (one structured, one free), and sleep five in four-person rooms, according to MSNBC and the Post. Emma Scornavacchi, The New Republic, "“Effectively, these kids are incarcerated.”," 14 June 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

19 May 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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