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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Something made up of a number of parts that are held or put together in a particular way: hierarchical social structure.
  • n. The way in which parts are arranged or put together to form a whole; makeup: triangular in structure.
  • n. The interrelation or arrangement of parts in a complex entity: political structure; plot structure.
  • n. Something constructed, such as a building.
  • n. Biology The arrangement or formation of the tissues, organs, or other parts of an organism.
  • n. Biology An organ or other part of an organism.
  • transitive v. To give form or arrangement to: structure a curriculum; structure one's day.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A cohesive whole built up of distinct parts.
  • n. The underlying shape of a solid.
  • n. The overall form or organization of something.
  • n. A set of rules defining behaviour.
  • n. Several pieces of data treated as a unit.
  • n. Underwater terrain or objects (such as a dead tree or a submerged car) that tend to attract fish
  • n. A body, such as a political party, with a cohesive purpose or outlook.
  • n. A set along with a collection of finitary functions and relations.
  • v. To give structure to; to arrange.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of building; the practice of erecting buildings; construction.
  • n. Manner of building; form; make; construction.
  • n. Arrangement of parts, of organs, or of constituent particles, in a substance or body.
  • n. Manner of organization; the arrangement of the different tissues or parts of animal and vegetable organisms
  • n. That which is built; a building; esp., a building of some size or magnificence; an edifice.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of building or constructing; a building up; edification.
  • n. That which is built or constructed; an edifice or a building of any kind; in the widest sense, any production or piece of work artificially built up, or composed of parts joined together in some definite manner; any construction.
  • n. An organic form; the combination of parts in any natural production; an organization of parts or elements.
  • n. Mode of building, construction, or organization; arrangement of parts, elements, or constituents: form; make: used of both natural and artificial productions.
  • n. Specifically— In biology, manner or mode of organization; construction and arrangement of tissues, parts, or organs as components of a whole organism; structural or organic morphology; organization: as, animal or vegetable structure; the structure of an animal or a plant; the structure of the brain, of a coral, etc.
  • n. In geology, various characteristic features, considered collectively, of rocks and of rock-forming minerals, which features differ much in their nature and origin. Stratification, jointing, cleavage, and foliation are among the principal structural peculiarities of rock-masses, which are chiefly to be studied in the field. Some geologists would limit the term structure to petrographic phenomena of this kind, which have been designated as macroscopic rock-structures. The minuter structural details of rocks and their components are in part included under the name structure, and in part under that of texture. Thus, a rock may have a crystalline, granular, spherulitic, perlitic, etc., structure, or a flinty, earthy, glassy, etc., texture. But the usages of geologists differ in the employment of terms of this kind, and there can be no precise limit drawn separating textures from structures. In general, however, the structural peculiarities of a rock are those which specially interest the geologist; the textural belong more properly to the mineralogist. Microstructures, or those details of structure belonging to the constituents of rocks which are in general not to be satisfactorily studied without the aid of the microscope, are peculiarly the field of observation of the lithologist. For macrostructures, see breccia, cleat, cleavage, 3, concretionary, fragmentary, foliation, 6, joint, 2, schist, slate and slaty, and stratification; for microstructures and textures, see amygdaloidal, cryptocrystalline, crystalline, felsophyre, globulite, granitoid, granophyre and granophyric, holocrystalline, massive, 5, microcrystalline, microlith and microlithie, ocellar, pegmatitic, perlitic, porphyritic, scoriaceous, spherulitic, trachytic, vesicular, vitreous, and vitrophyre.
  • To form into a structure; organize the parts or elements of in structural form.
  • n. In chem., the order of attachment of the atoms which constitute the molecule of a substance. It is expressed by a structural or constitutional formula.
  • n. in petrography, a structure produced in metamorphic rocks by the development of small lenses of granular texture in a micaceous laminated mass.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the manner of construction of something and the arrangement of its parts
  • n. the complex composition of knowledge as elements and their combinations
  • n. a thing constructed; a complex entity constructed of many parts
  • v. give a structure to
  • n. a particular complex anatomical part of a living thing
  • n. the people in a society considered as a system organized by a characteristic pattern of relationships


Middle English, the process of building, from Latin strūctūra, from strūctus, past participle of struere, to construct; see ster-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French structure, from Latin structura ("a fitting together, adjustment, building, erection, a building, edifice, structure"), from struere, past participle structus ("pile up, arrange, assemble, build"). Compare construct, instruct, destroy, etc. (Wiktionary)


  • If a structure includes elements of more than three angles, it is called an “imperfect structure”.

    4. Roof structure

  • It will help in understanding both the structure and the working of the nervous system to keep in mind that it contains _but one fundamental unit of structure_.

    The Mind and Its Education

  • This was achieved by setting the key policy rate that then affected the term structure of interest rates and asset prices, and then to aggregate demand.

    Olivier Blanchard: Rewriting the Macroeconomists' Playbook in the Wake of the Crisis

  • Federal borrowing serves to regulate the term structure of interest rates, and not to fund expenditures.

    Warren Mosler: Modern Monetary Theory: The Last Progressive Left Standing

  • The term structure is antiquated and needs an overhaul to reflect the times we live in.

    WalesOnline - Home

  • In addition, one can often gain some insight into the overall structure of the stock market by observing the term structure of the VIX futures - that is, their relationship to each other. - Top Stories

  • When the term structure slopes upward like this, that is a reflection of a bullish environment. - Top Stories

  • So, even during the rather sharp market selling in July, the VIX futures have retained a premium, and the term structure has remained positively sloped. - Top Stories

  • Conversely, if the futures should start to trade at a discount to VIX, and if the term structure should flatten out, or perhaps even begin to slope negatively downward, those would be bearish signs. - Top Stories

  • "The resulting capital gains will provide support to consumption and a general reduction in the term structure of interest rates is likely to lead to knock-on capital gains on other assets, which will provide further support to consumer spending," he said.

    The Guardian World News


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