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[struhk-cher] /ˈstrʌk tʃər/
mode of building, construction, or organization; arrangement of parts, elements, or constituents:
a pyramidal structure.
something built or constructed, as a building, bridge, or dam.
a complex system considered from the point of view of the whole rather than of any single part:
the structure of modern science.
anything composed of parts arranged together in some way; an organization.
the relationship or organization of the component parts of a work of art or literature:
the structure of a poem.
Biology. mode of organization; construction and arrangement of tissues, parts, or organs.
  1. the attitude of a bed or stratum or of beds or strata of sedimentary rocks, as indicated by the dip and strike.
  2. the coarser composition of a rock, as contrasted with its texture.
Chemistry. the manner in which atoms in a molecule are joined to each other, especially in organic chemistry where molecular arrangement is represented by a diagram or model.
  1. the system or complex of beliefs held by members of a social group.
  2. the system of relations between the constituent groups of a society.
  3. the relationship between or the interrelated arrangement of the social institutions of a society or culture, as of mores, marriage customs, or family.
  4. the pattern of relationships, as of status or friendship, existing among the members of a group or society.
the pattern of organization of a language as a whole or of arrangements of linguistic units, as phonemes, morphemes or tagmemes, within larger units.
verb (used with object), structured, structuring.
to give a structure, organization, or arrangement to; construct or build a systematic framework for:
to structure a curriculum so well that a novice teacher can use it.
Origin of structure
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin structūra, equivalent to struct(us) (past participle of struere to put together) + -ūra -ure
Related forms
destructure, verb (used with object), destructured, destructuring.
interstructure, noun
nonstructure, noun
prestructure, verb (used with object), prestructured, prestructuring.
1. system, form, configuration.
Synonym Study
2. See building. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for structures


a complex construction or entity
the arrangement and interrelationship of parts in a construction, such as a building
the manner of construction or organization: the structure of society
(biology) morphology; form
(chem) the arrangement of atoms in a molecule of a chemical compound: the structure of benzene
(geology) the way in which a mineral, rock, rock mass or stratum, etc, is made up of its component parts
(rare) the act of constructing
(transitive) to impart a structure to
Word Origin
C15: from Latin structūra, from struere to build
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for structures



mid-15c., "action or process of building or construction," from Latin structura "a fitting together, adjustment, building," from structus, past participle of struere "to pile, build, assemble," related to strues "heap," from PIE *stere- "to spread, extend, stretch out" (cf. Sanskrit strnoti "strews, throws down;" Avestan star- "to spread out, stretch out;" Greek stronymi "strew," stroma "bedding, mattress," sternon "breast, breastbone;" Latin sternere "to stretch, extend;" Old Church Slavonic stira, streti "spread," strama "district;" Russian stroji "order;" Gothic straujan, Old High German strouwen, Old English streowian "to sprinkle, strew;" Old English streon "strain," streaw "straw, that which is scattered;" Old High German stirna "forehead," strala "arrow, lightning bolt;" Old Irish fo-sernaim "spread out," srath "a wide river valley;" Welsh srat "plain"). Meaning "that which is constructed, a building or edifice" is from 1610s.



"put together systematically," by 1855, from structure (n.). Related: Structured; structuring. Structured "organized so as to produce results" is from 1959.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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structures in Medicine

structure struc·ture (strŭk'chər)

  1. The arrangement or formation of the tissues, organs, or other parts of an organism.

  2. A tissue, an organ, or other formation made up of different but related parts.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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