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

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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

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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 Watch as the roof structure and columns of the former entertainment arena of the Palace of Auburn Hills implode July 11, 2020. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons' Palace of Auburn Hills imploded in a cloud of dust to cheers and shock," 11 July 2020 Monday’s announcement is part of a broader effort to overhaul the structure and oversight of the U.K. audit sector. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "U.K. Regulator Orders Big Four to Separate Audit Practices by 2024," 6 July 2020 Although the new tailgate is wider the space behind it–dictated by the structure of the Bentayga's body shell–remains the same size. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "2021 Bentley Bentayga Gets Big Style and Content Upgrade," 30 June 2020 The tree of life casts its shadow across the structure of our oak forests. Andrew L. Hipp, Scientific American, "How Oak Trees Evolved to Rule the Forests of the Northern Hemisphere," 15 July 2020 One structure was destroyed and another was damaged by the fire, but no structures were under threat early Thursday. Alejandro Serrano, SFChronicle.com, "Kind weather helps firefighters keep Crews Fire near Gilroy at 5,400 acres," 9 July 2020 The decentralized structure of the current movement builds on this history of grassroots activism while working to avoid replicating the entrenched sexism and homophobia of an earlier era. Sarah Silkey, The Conversation, "There are many leaders of today’s protest movement – just like the civil rights movement," 7 July 2020 Powell said the program helped retain the structure of the U.S. economy. Alexandria Burris, The Indianapolis Star, "Feds release details on which Indiana businesses received the biggest PPP loans," 6 July 2020 That means that the spiral galaxy features a central structure of stars shaped like a bar. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Hubble spots galaxy moving away from us at 3 million miles per hour," 6 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That could provide a nice breather and chance to structure the pitching staff if the A’s, as expected, are in playoff contention in late September. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "A’s 2020 schedule: Five things to watch," 6 July 2020 Among their biggest decisions: Which firms to include in the $600 billion Main Street Lending Program, which will lend directly to mid-sized businesses, and how to structure two programs that will purchase up to $750 billion in corporate bonds. Anchorage Daily News, "This Treasury official is running the pandemic relief fund. It’s been great for his family.," 2 June 2020 Among their biggest decisions: Which firms to include in the $600 billion Main Street Lending Program, which will lend directly to mid-sized businesses, and how to structure two programs that will purchase up to $750 billion in corporate bonds. Justin Elliott, ProPublica, "This Treasury Official Is Running the Bailout. It’s Been Great for His Family.," 2 June 2020 Even how vehicles are structured is changing during the pandemic — and that innovation is happening right here in Ohio. Beth Burger, Cincinnati.com, "Rebuilding America: Coronavirus pandemic has led to changes in transportation industry," 28 May 2020 These are publications that are structured like the editorial side of blogs and magazines, with multiple writers and editors working on the project. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Is Email the Future of Journalism?," 25 May 2020 And that is Coetzee’s greatest theme of all, the thread that runs throughout his work, that structures his work. William Deresiewicz, The Atlantic, "The Special Child," 17 May 2020 In response to the laws, private equity firms have structured their health care investments with physicians as owners, but in name only, McNamara said. NBC News, "Private equity firms now control many hospitals, ERs and nursing homes. Is it good for health care?," 13 May 2020 The boys and girls tournaments are initially structured in bracket pools. Dana Scott, azcentral, "Native American Basketball Invitational and Educational Youth Summit in Phoenix canceled," 17 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for structure

Time Traveler

The first known use of structure was in 1560

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Statistics for structure

Last Updated

31 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Structure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/structure. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for structure

structure

noun
How to pronounce structure (audio)

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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