un·​struc·​tured | \ˌən-ˈstrək-chərd \

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

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 And at the moment, there are two styles in particular that are popping up everywhere: slouchy, unstructured dad caps and bucket hats, a.k.a. Yang-yi Goh, GQ, "22 Summer Hats Even You Won’t Look Dorky In," 24 May 2018 Research shows that the freedom of unstructured time in open space helps kids learn to focus. Conor Williams, The Atlantic, "The Perks of a Play-in-the-Mud Educational Philosophy," 26 Apr. 2018 Abel smartly juxtaposes this fateful summer of structured activities and unstructured hormones with regular flashbacks that reveal the rickety frame on which Camp Llamalo came to be. Ellen Emry Heltzel, The Seattle Times, "Heather Abel’s sly ‘The Optimistic Decade’ is an exceptional coming-of-age novel," 5 June 2018 Walton's 'do, along with other standout looks of the night — like tousled, unstructured waves, bandana headbands, and cornrows with shapes — were a testament to the theme of the evening: Wang's American story. refinery29.com, "Alexander Wang Just Reintroduced The World To Personalized Cornrows," 4 June 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

27 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for unstructured

The first known use of unstructured was in 1936

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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 \

Medical Definition of unstructured 

: lacking structure : not formally organized unstructured psychological tests

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