un·​struc·​tured | \ ˌən-ˈstrək-chərd How to pronounce unstructured (audio) \

Definition of unstructured

: lacking structure or organization: such as
a : not formally organized in a set or conventional pattern an unstructured question feel insecure in an unstructured situation
b : not having a system or hierarchy typical of an organized society

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Synonyms & Antonyms for unstructured


amorphous, formless, shapeless, unformed, unshaped


formed, shaped, shapen, structured

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Examples of unstructured in a Sentence

Unstructured play time is important for children. Her life is very unstructured.

Recent Examples on the Web

Driving a Mazda Miata is the unstructured play of the automotive world: often a solitary activity, beneficial to one's development, and a whole lot of fun. Car and Driver, "2019 10Best Cars," 28 Nov. 2018 Halston’s innovations—creating easy, unstructured designs via exquisite engineering—remain the inspirational bedrock of American design. Vogue, "Watch an Exclusive Clip of Halston Before Its Sundance Premiere—And Read What the Director and Producer Say About Its Making," 23 Jan. 2019 For The Favourite, director Yorgos Lanthimos’s approach was very unstructured. WSJ, "Grace Wales Bonner, Nicholas Hoult and More on Structure," 5 Dec. 2018 The groups said the lawsuit was an attack on free speech, and Earth First also maintained it’s an unstructured social movement similar to Black Lives Matter and can’t be sued. Blake Nicholson, The Seattle Times, "Dakota Access developer amends $1B racketeering lawsuit," 6 Aug. 2018 Moretti believed that architecture was transitioning from the circle (a Classical shape), to the oval (a Baroque shape), to the free, unstructured form (the modern shape). Carson Bear, USA TODAY, "D.C.'s Watergate building: America’s most infamous address," 31 May 2018 Giant brushed-back wig hair and an unstructured celadon blue silk gown with intricate intarsia cape opened the 63-look show in that era’s exaggerated style. Washington Post, "Standing ovation at Valentino caps Paris couture week," 4 July 2018 In some communities the answers to these questions can be multifaceted, however, the sessions themselves are unstructured, and intended to get members to speak openly and honestly. Maya Moore, Courant Community, "The Hartford Foundation's Listening Tour To Stop In Wethersfield Next," 5 July 2018 For so many American kids, that used to mean meandering stretches of unstructured time playing outdoors. Alex Salkever, Fortune, "Fortnite Is Poised to Rule the Summer. Are Parents Prepared?," 5 July 2018

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

1936, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unstructured

Last Updated

24 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unstructured

The first known use of unstructured was in 1936

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More Definitions for unstructured



English Language Learners Definition of unstructured

: not happening according to a plan : not organized or planned in a formal way


un·​struc·​tured | \ ˌən-ˈstrək-chərd How to pronounce unstructured (audio) \

Medical Definition of unstructured

: lacking structure : not formally organized unstructured psychological tests

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Comments on unstructured

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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