structure

1 of 2

noun

struc·​ture ˈstrək-chər How to pronounce structure (audio)
1
: the action of building : construction
2
a
: something (such as a building) that is constructed
b
: something arranged in a definite pattern of organization
a rigid totalitarian structure J. L. Hess
leaves and other plant structures
3
: manner of construction : makeup
Gothic in structure
4
a
: the arrangement of particles or parts in a substance or body
soil structure
molecular structure
b
: organization of parts as dominated by the general character of the whole
economic structure
personality structure
c
: coherent form or organization
tried to give some structure to the children's lives
5
: the aggregate of elements of an entity in their relationships to each other
the structure of a language
structureless adjective
structurelessness noun

structure

2 of 2

verb

structured; structuring ˈstrək-chə-riŋ How to pronounce structure (audio)
ˈstrək-shriŋ

transitive verb

1
: to form into or according to a structure
2

Example Sentences

Noun They studied the compound's molecular structure. The film had a simple narrative structure. the structure of a plant the social structure of a college campus changes to the company's power structure The structure was damaged by fire. Children need a lot of structure in their lives. Verb She structured the essay chronologically. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
There is something cartoonish about halo-halo and its audacious, perilous structure. Danny Palumbo, Los Angeles Times, 25 Nov. 2022 Its soft tannic structure works nicely with the greens without adding to the bitterness. Sunset Staff, Sunset Magazine, 23 Nov. 2022 Regulators must enforce the law before more people get cheated, and Congress must plug the remaining holes in our regulatory structure—before the next crypto catastrophe takes down our economy. Elizabeth Warren, WSJ, 22 Nov. 2022 This process allows a company to reorganize its capital structure with a goal of cleaning up its balance sheet. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 16 Nov. 2022 But Achebe also displays the beauty and complexity of the Igbo culture, with its justice system, its economy, its vivid proverbs, its arts and its essentially meritocratic social structure. Joshua Landy, WSJ, 11 Nov. 2022 Two rounds of chemotherapy didn’t slow the growth, and the tumor began to push against his leg structure, the agony unbearable. Los Angeles Times, 11 Nov. 2022 San Casciano dei Bagni is a destination known for its hot springs, as well as for its Medieval village structure. Irene Dominioni, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2022 But the Bills would have to move money (and perhaps players) around to fit Beckham into their salary structure. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 9 Nov. 2022
Verb
Seth Goldman, the chair of Beyond’s board, said there can be tension between passionate founders and the realities of trying to structure a large business. Jesse Newman, WSJ, 21 Nov. 2022 The governor said the administration and lawmakers will structure the bonuses based on need, exactly how yet to be determined. Hartford Courant, 18 Nov. 2022 Abernethy previously worked at Flatiron Health, a tech startup that creates databases from a medical record system by hiring people to read doctors' notes and structure them into data. Matthew Herper, STAT, 3 Nov. 2022 In fact, companies structure their organizations to focus on stability and predictability. Peter Bendor-samuel, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2022 In his book, Harris attempts to codify chutzpah, parse it, structure it so it can be used by entrepreneurs and C-suite executives. John Kelly, Washington Post, 27 Sep. 2022 To structure these donations, the Hale family office draws up gift agreements, which stipulate an annual drawdown limit of 5%. John Hyatt, Forbes, 8 Oct. 2022 Boardman, city and county officials are fighting over how to structure the deals — and how much to allocate to each jurisdiction. oregonlive, 8 Sep. 2022 The film opens with 2004 footage recorded during depositions for a lawsuit filed by Vinton against Knight, and uses those depositions as a through line around which to structure a tale that is simultaneously inspiring and dispiriting. Michael O'sullivan, Washington Post, 16 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'structure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Latin structura, from structus, past participle of struere to heap up, build — more at strew

First Known Use

Noun

1560, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Verb

1664, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of structure was in 1560

Dictionary Entries Near structure

Cite this Entry

“Structure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/structure. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

structure 1 of 2

noun

struc·​ture ˈstrək-chər How to pronounce structure (audio)
1
: the action of building : construction
2
: something constructed or arranged in a definite pattern of organization
3
: manner of construction : the arrangement or relationship of elements (as particles, parts, or organs) in a substance, body, or system
soil structure
the structure of a plant
molecular structure
social structure
the structure of a language
structureless adjective

structure

2 of 2

verb

structured; structuring ˈstrək-chə-riŋ How to pronounce structure (audio)
ˈstrək-shriŋ
: to form into a structure : organize

Medical Definition

structure

noun

struc·​ture ˈstrək-chər How to pronounce structure (audio)
1
: something (as an anatomical part) arranged in a definite pattern of organization
2
a
: the arrangement of particles or parts in a substance or body
molecular structure
b
: organization of parts as dominated by the general character of the whole
personality structure
3
: the aggregate of elements of an entity in their relationships to each other

More from Merriam-Webster on structure

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