surface structure


Definition of surface structure

: a formal representation of the phonetic form of a sentence also : the structure which such a representation describes

Examples of surface structure in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The benefits include avoiding impacts to surface structures and property and potentially offering flood damage reduction benefits to a larger region. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Tunnel feasibility study raises hopes," 31 Oct. 2019 In recent experiments, Osborn examined the surface structure of seven species of super black fish, acquired from the wild. Sonke Johnsen, National Geographic, "How Deep-Sea Fish Are So Exceptionally Black," 18 Apr. 2018 Feathers, like most opaque objects, typically get their color from pigments in surface coatings (much as melanin colors skin) or from tiny surface structures that reflect light, such as those found on iridescent butterflies and beetles. Sid Perkins, Scientific American, "Back to Black: How Birds-of-Paradise Get Their Midnight Feathers," 9 Jan. 2018 The process alters the surface structure of the steel, and the right amount of current and voltage can produce the kind of spikes that kill bacteria. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Create Bacteria-Killing Steel Nanospikes," 19 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'surface structure.' 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 surface structure

1964, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about surface structure

Time Traveler for surface structure

Time Traveler

The first known use of surface structure was in 1964

See more words from the same year

Statistics for surface structure

Cite this Entry

“Surface structure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on surface structure Encyclopedia article about surface structure

Comments on surface structure

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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!