su·​per·​struc·​ture | \ ˈsü-pər-ˌstrək-chər How to pronounce superstructure (audio) \

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

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Other Words from superstructure

superstructural \ ˌsü-​pər-​ˈstrək-​chə-​rəl How to pronounce superstructure (audio) , -​ˈstrək-​shrəl \ adjective

Examples of superstructure in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Anchored in the ground with 144 feet of steel and concrete, the stand has been renovated with a new steel superstructure to test the massive SLS core stage, which is the central backbone of the launch system. Mary Perez And Lauren Walck | The Sun Herald,, "NASA to test engines for 'most powerful rocket ever' in Mississippi this weekend," 15 Jan. 2021 Currently, work is focused on completing all superstructure concrete pours, including finishing stair and elevator cores and the venue’s proscenium wall. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "MSG Entertainment Takes Over Sphere Construction in Las Vegas," 17 Dec. 2020 Created in 2016 and used by a loose consortium of Russian-speaking cybercriminals, Trickbot is a digital superstructure for sowing malware in the computers of unwitting individuals and websites. Frank Bajak, Star Tribune, "Microsoft attempts takedown of global criminal botnet," 12 Oct. 2020 The relatively low length-to-beam ratio and a very high superstructure make for a stout-looking ship. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russia’s Nuclear-Powered Icebreaker Is a Step Toward Military Domination," 24 Sep. 2020 The hull was watertight, but there were holes in the steel superstructure, and the shipyard had stripped every functional component. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, "Thirty-six Thousand Feet," 10 May 2020 While a much lighter metal, aluminum has lower melting point and ignition temperature than steel, meaning fires can devastate the ship’s superstructure. Christopher Harress |, al, "Mobile’s Austal misses out on $5.5 billion U.S. Navy contract," 1 May 2020 When Valorant is released widely, others will be infected with this desire, and there will be a whole esports superstructure—one that feeds on aspiration—to keep them interested. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "Valorant Is Cutthroat, Punishing, and Addictive as Hell," 28 Apr. 2020 Over time battleships spouted large superstructures, huge edifices housing what were essentially small office buildings where an Admiral and his staff could work and conduct operations. Haomiao Huang, Ars Technica, "How computational power—or its absence—shaped World War naval battles," 25 Mar. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of superstructure

1626, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for superstructure

Time Traveler

The first known use of superstructure was in 1626

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Statistics for superstructure

Last Updated

29 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Superstructure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for superstructure



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

Nglish: Translation of superstructure for Spanish Speakers

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