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

What's more, those genetic variants result in differences in brain structure, which might mean that left-handed people have better verbal skills than the right-handed majority. Emily Dixon, CNN, "Scientists have identified the genes linked to left-handedness," 5 Sep. 2019 Computational drug discovery has traditionally involved brute force methods of looking through millions of potential structures, with limited payoff. Wired, "A Molecule Designed By AI Exhibits 'Druglike' Qualities," 2 Sep. 2019 Get our daily newsletter For some years, space sat awkwardly in this structure. The Economist, "Donald Trump creates Space Command but must wait for Space Force," 30 Aug. 2019 Another site, located at 900-920 E. Broadway, is 1.6 acres and includes several historic structures, which will remain . Lila Seidman, Glendale News-Press, "Glendale to spend $25M on pair of properties for affordable-housing development," 30 Aug. 2019 Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art is a grandiose futuristic curve of a building, and Kunsthalle, housed in a neoclassical structure, has been a hip exposition space since 1928. Liza Weisstuch, Washington Post, "Want a charming Nordic city without the corresponding prices? Try Estonia’s Tallinn.," 29 Aug. 2019 The heat that enters into a greenhouse is then radiated or absorbed back into its ceilings, trapping the thermal energy in the structure and heating it up. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Amazon Is Selling an Enormous Greenhouse That's Better Than Any She Shed," 29 Aug. 2019 The Cleveland man, 34, who was suspected of stealing a bottle of liquor, was arrested and charged with theft, obstructing official business and trespassing in an occupied structure. cleveland.com, "Man makes way onto school grounds with weapons, drugs: South Euclid Police Blotter," 29 Aug. 2019 There is the possibility these businesses will bring about major changes in the structure of Africa’s economy and society. Japan News-yomiuri, Twin Cities, "Other voices: Technological innovations will boost Africa’s growth," 22 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park is a steep, dramatic and well-structured hike to this high overlook. Rosemary Mcclure, Los Angeles Times, "In fall, experience the awe and adventure in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks," 31 Aug. 2019 As structured, the bail bonds industry survives largely off those who don’t have the financial resources to post bail. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "States are trying to change a system that keeps poor people in jail. The bail industry is blocking them.," 30 Aug. 2019 But Nirenberg, who sits on both the SAWS and CPS boards, offered no specifics on how exactly the executives’ compensation should instead be structured. Joshua Fechter, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg calls for end to bonuses for utility chiefs," 9 Aug. 2019 This relentless desire is, in Tarantino’s estimation, the most powerful structuring principle of Hollywood. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "The Brutal Logic of Stardom in “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood”," 6 Aug. 2019 Online forums can provide support for overwhelmed parents, and high-quality educational apps can help structure children’s learning in a personalized and meaningful way. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "Smartphones are disrupting the crucial connections between parents and their babies," 31 July 2019 The University of Alaska Board of Regents is meeting in Anchorage Tuesday to discuss possible structuring options in the face of a 41% cut to state funding and to hear from the governor’s administration about its latest funding proposal. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "University leaders meeting in Anchorage to talk budget cuts, hear from Dunleavy administration," 30 July 2019 The way in which things are structured is also deliberately vague. Cian Maher, The Verge, "The streamer who built a giant Starbucks island in Minecraft," 15 July 2019 The disagreement was this: The nuclear deal, as structured, basically takes away the constraints on Iran's nuclear program by a date certain. Fox News, "Benjamin Netanyahu opens up about his history with America," 11 Mar. 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

8 Sep 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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