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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from superstructure

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

Examples of superstructure in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Mapping data can then be run through software to detect anomalous undersea structures, like ship hulls, superstructures, and gun turrets, identifying possible wrecks. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Are We Entering a Golden Age of Shipwreck Discovery?," 1 Aug. 2019 An exhibit featuring photos and documents about Stratton's experience, along with a piece of the Arizona's superstructure, will be open to the public at the Colorado Springs Airport. Shaun Mckinnon, azcentral, "Pearl Harbor survivor will return to the USS Arizona a final time. And he'll be the final one," 7 Dec. 2019 The entire superstructure that made up the wheelhouse and middle deck had been destroyed in the blaze. Los Angeles Times, "Authorities raise burned remains of Conception after weather delays," 12 Sep. 2019 At the trial of its utility the engine reached a speed of 120 miles an hour and maintained it for 22 minutes, but the superstructure collapsed under the tremendous strain. Kevin Leonard,, "The dream of electric trains has origins in Laurel," 6 Sep. 2019 Artificial turf slopes upward via a scaffolding superstructure. Travis Deshong, Washington Post, "With ‘Lawn,’ the National Building Museum brings summer indoors," 3 July 2019 The ship’s superstructure, including bridge, mast, radars, antennas, and other electronics, were encased in a single giant trapezoidal tower, reducing hundreds of surfaces and facets to just six smooth, flat surfaces. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Everything We Know About the USS Zumwalt Destroyers," 5 Aug. 2019 There were stories about the arrival of the steel superstructure, built in the Bay Area, and of the concrete girders, made in Long Beach. San Diego Union-Tribune, "50 years later, Coronado bridge’s iconic status masks its controversial origins," 4 Aug. 2019 Astronomers expected these hot baryons to conform to a cosmic superstructure, one made of invisible dark matter, that spanned the immense voids between galaxies. Quanta Magazine, "The Last of the Universe’s Ordinary Matter Has Been Found," 10 Sep. 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

Time Traveler for superstructure

Time Traveler

The first known use of superstructure was in 1626

See more words from the same year

Statistics for superstructure

Last Updated

3 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Superstructure.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 29 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for superstructure


How to pronounce superstructure (audio)

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).


to assert without proof or before proving

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

January 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • image1642096650
  • Which is a synonym of bonhomie?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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