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

Each of the three states would determine their own governance structure. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "'Cal 3' backer urges court to dismiss lawsuit opposing California break-up plan," 14 July 2018 That growth requires a constant evolution of our management structure. Wolfgang Spahr, Billboard, "BMG Promotes Ben Katovsky to COO, Ama Walton to Global General Counsel," 13 July 2018 Broken, inverted umbrellas littered the sidewalks, their silver structures exposed and collapsed — exoskeletons, all of them. Liz Arnold, Longreads, "Making Peace with the Site of a Suicide," 11 July 2018 Headed by Elliott Management and Bluescape Resources, the activists say up to $16 billion in shareholder value can be added if Sempra dramatically streamlines its corporate structure. Rob Nikolewski, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Sempra makes $1.6B stock offering to wrap up Oncor acquisition," 10 July 2018 Under its structure, only 17 trawlers can fish for the gamba roja, and only during limited daylight hours. Wendy Mitman Clarke, Smithsonian, "How a Fallback to Historic Traditions Might Save Catalonia’s Red Shrimp Fishery," 5 July 2018 Ikea kept TaskRabbit as an independent entity based in San Francisco, with its own governance structure, board and financial books. Carolyn Said, SFChronicle.com, "TaskRabbit trims prices in bid to find more clients," 20 June 2018 Ed Stefanski - for now The Pistons have been in no rush to determine their long-term front office structure. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons, Malik Rose reportedly near deal for front-office role," 20 June 2018 But its exact structure would depend on the enacting laws, which aren't passing any time soon. National Geographic, "Would a U.S. Space Force Be Legal? Get the Facts.," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The play is structured around a series of scenes or scenarios that change based on the actions of the audience, which the actors improvise off of accordingly. Henry J. Morgan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Colgate 'Underground Railroad' production is part play, part escape room, part golf course," 6 July 2018 Crossfit is structured and meticulous, with a heavy reliance on compound movements and an emphasis on maintaining proper form throughout. Tres Dean, GQ, "The Best Martial Arts for Getting Anderson Silva-Ripped," 13 June 2018 His encyclopaedic and engaging book is structured around those different dangers, the many different ways art is lost (and sometimes is later found). The Economist, "The many ways art goes missing," 10 May 2018 Inside, the small gaps cast warm patterns of light onto the concrete floors. The house is structured around an open-air courtyard with a square reflection pool in the center. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Airy brick house bucks tradition to stunning effect," 10 May 2018 The dress material is light and airy, yet structured and flattering. SFChronicle.com, "25 ways to chase your perfect Bay Area summer," 11 July 2018 Answering this question involves evaluating the government structures the Constitution creates and the reasons for them. Carolyn Shapiro, Fortune, "Brett Kavanaugh Said Judges Should Just Follow the Law. Here’s Why That’s Bull," 10 July 2018 In fact, money was largely eradicated, since society was structured into classes from which there is no escape. refinery29.com, "Meet Commander Lawrence, The Most Destabilizing Presence On The Handmaid's Tale," 10 July 2018 The regulations are triggered when six or more unrelated people reside in a home providing alcohol or drug-free housing and structured activity to recover from substance abuse addiction. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Waiting for state sober living home rules, cities add their own restrictions," 7 July 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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Phrases Related to structure

play structure

Statistics for structure

Last Updated

22 Sep 2018

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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Comments on structure

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