Definition: Structure

From New World Encyclopedia


From Middle French structure, from Latin structūra (“a fitting together, adjustment, building, erection, a building, edifice, structure”), from struere, past participle structus (“pile up, arrange, assemble, build”).


structure (countable and uncountable, plural structures)

  1. A cohesive whole built up of distinct parts.
    The birds had built an amazing structure out of sticks and various discarded items.
  2. The underlying shape of a solid.
    He studied the structure of her face.
  3. The overall form or organization of something.
    The structure of a sentence.
    The structure of the society was still a mystery.
  4. A set of rules defining behavior.
    For some, the structure of school life was oppressive.
  5. (computing) Several pieces of data treated as a unit.
    This structure contains both date and timezone information.
  6. (fishing) Underwater terrain or objects (such as a dead tree or a submerged car) that tend to attract fish
    There's lots of structure to be fished along the west shore of the lake.
  7. A body, such as a political party, with a cohesive purpose or outlook.
    The South African leader went off to consult with the structures.


structure (third-person singular simple present structures, present participle structuring, simple past and past participle structured)

  1. (transitive) To give structure to; to arrange.
    I'm trying to structure my time better so I'm not always late.
    I've structured the deal to limit the amount of money we can lose.

Related terms


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