Meaning of STRUCTURE in English


I. ˈstrəkchə(r), -ksh- noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Latin structura, from structus (past participle of struere to pile up, arrange, build) + -ura -ure; akin to Latin strues heap, sternere to spread out, throw down — more at strew

1. : the action of building : construction


a. : something constructed or built

a laboratory housed in a temporary wooden structure

the dam is a massive structure

demolish any building, highway, road, railroad, excavation, or other structure — T.W.Arnold

a structure of posts or stakes across a stream — F.W.Bradley

structures experimented with …: oxygen-pressure suits, oxygen-pressure balloon gondolas and pressure cabin airplanes — H.G.Armstrong

all vegetable fibrous structures felted from a water suspension on a wire screen — Paper & Paperboard

especially : a building of imposing size : edifice

the civic auditorium … is the city's most important public structure — American Guide Series: Michigan

b. : something made up of more or less interdependent elements or parts : something having a definite or fixed pattern of organization

leaves and other complex plant structures

a glandular structure at the base of the brain

light provided by a fluorescent structure

collapse the delicate, incomplete structure of agreement — Kenneth Love

the Nazi structure of falsified facts and perverted history — Alfred Frankfurter

any object which is in some sense an organized whole is said to have, or to be characterized by, structure — W.C.Clement

the political and institutional structure of the Commonwealth has been built, and continues to develop, round this living core of tradition and culture — H.D.Hall

events, or material objects, whose mutual spatial relationships are regarded as constant, constitute a structure — L.A.White

3. : the manner of construction : the way in which the parts of something are put together or organized : form , makeup

a rambling country house, basically Gothic in plan, structure , and mass — H.S.Morrison

structure means the ways in which the stars are organized into clusters and other multiple systems — G.W.Gray b. 1886

primitive societies are … pretty rigid and uniform in structure — J.D.Adams

the structure of a novel

4. : the arrangement of particles or parts in a substance or body

the structure of soil

the structure of a plant

the structure of an animal


a. : the arrangement and mode of union of the atoms in a molecule — compare constitution 4

b. : the attitude and relative positions of rock masses consequent upon deformative processes (as folding, faulting, and igneous intrusion)

an anticlinal structure

a basin-and-range structure

an alpine structure

c. : the arrangement of a rock mass with respect to the larger features (as jointing, columnar and platy parting, bedding) — compare texture

5. : the interrelation of parts as dominated by the general character of the whole

economic structure

financial structure

personality structure

political structure

symphonic structure

tax structure

— see social structure

6. : the elements or parts of an entity or the position of such elements or parts in their external relationships to each other: as


(1) : the components of a language (as phonemes, morphemes) and the way in which they are related — compare phonemics , morphophonemics , morphology , syntax

(2) : the finite system of such components and their relations


(1) : the composition of conscious experience with its elements and their combinations

(2) : gestalt

(3) : the anatomical basis of behavior consisting especially of nerve and muscle tissue

7. : the element that is common to all true interpretations of a logical or mathematical calculus

II. verb

( structured ; structured ; structuring -kchər, -ksh(ə)r+ -ing ; structures )

transitive verb

1. : to form into an organized structure : build , organize

the author has structured his book as a simple chronology — E.B.Pettet

this book succeeds in structuring an admirable vantage point — J.G.Brin

the male in the old-style mammal was largely structured for aggressive competition — Weston La Barre

the way in which our collegiate education is structured — E.A.Walker



(1) : structuralize

(2) : to put into a meaningful frame of reference

a theory to structure empirical research

the part of television in structuring public events

b. : to establish the relationship between components of: as

(1) : to define the psychological relationships in

structure a situation

structure the perceptual field

(2) : to formalize the role of (as a psychotherapist or a patient)

(3) : to set up the rules or the agenda to be followed in (as an interview or a test) with respect to interpersonal conduct

2. : to assign (a linguistic element) to a function or a relation within a system

intransitive verb

: to function or become related — used of a linguistic element

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.