superstructure

noun
su·per·struc·ture | \ˈsü-pər-ˌstrək-chər \

Definition of superstructure 

1a : an entity, concept, or complex based on a more fundamental one

b : social institutions (such as the law or politics) that are in Marxist theory erected upon the economic base

2 : a structure built as a vertical extension of something else: such as

a : all of a building above the basement

b : the structural part of a ship above the main deck

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from superstructure

superstructural \ˌsü-pər-ˈstrək-chə-rəl, -ˈstrək-shrəl \ adjective

Examples of superstructure in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The original design was a huge triangular wedge with a towering superstructure jutting out in one direction. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Problem with The Last Jedi's New Star Destroyer," 18 Dec. 2017 In the Google Maps satellite photos, the two ships side by side in the shipyard—the two Type 055s—appear still under construction with various parts of the superstructure missing. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This Is What a Real Naval Buildup Looks Like," 5 June 2018 The metal superstructure of the plant is about ten stories tall, and there are dozens of men hanging off of every level, welding. Michael J. Mooney, Popular Mechanics, "Inside the Koch Brothers' Industrial Empire," 9 Oct. 2015 Her superstructure was stripped and a 550-foot wooden flight deck fitted. Matthew Moss, Popular Mechanics, "How the American Aircraft Carrier Became King of the Seas," 22 May 2018 Its bones, the superstructure, are solid enough, and carrying on, in British fashion, even if its dermis of Yorkshire limestone is spotty. Karla Adam, Washington Post, "Westminster is rotting from within," 25 Apr. 2018 Yet analysts say even the better-performing units suffer under a heavy superstructure. The Economist, "Activist investors go after a German industrial icon," 31 May 2018 Plaster was slathered over cloth on a Lego superstructure, then brought to the museum in sections and replastered and decorated in place. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "Lauren Halsey takes a fantastic voyage in MOCA's 'we still here, there'," 24 May 2018 The four-alarm fire swept through the historic church at 1046 N. 9th St. — one of the oldest in Milwaukee and the local Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod — on Tuesday afternoon, causing significant damage to its superstructure and interior. Mike Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Trinity church to hold service Sunday at MATC in wake of fire," 18 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'superstructure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of superstructure

1626, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about superstructure

Share superstructure

Statistics for superstructure

Last Updated

29 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for superstructure

The first known use of superstructure was in 1626

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for superstructure

superstructure

noun

English Language Learners Definition of superstructure

: the part of a structure (such as a ship or bridge) that is above the lowest part

More from Merriam-Webster on superstructure

Spanish Central: Translation of superstructure

Nglish: Translation of superstructure for Spanish Speakers

Comments on superstructure

What made you want to look up superstructure? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!