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  1. the profession of designing buildings, open areas, communities, and other artificial constructions and environments, usually with some regard to aesthetic effect. Architecture often includes design or selection of furnishings and decorations, supervision of construction work, and the examination, restoration, or remodeling of existing buildings.
  2. the character or style of building: the architecture of Paris; Romanesque architecture.
  3. the action or process of building; construction.
  4. the result or product of architectural work, as a building.
  5. buildings collectively.
  6. a fundamental underlying design of computer hardware, software, or both.
  7. the structure of anything: the architecture of a novel.

Origin of architecture

1555–65; (< Middle French) < Latin architectūra. See architect, -ure Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for architecture


  1. the art and science of designing and superintending the erection of buildings and similar structures
  2. a style of building or structureGothic architecture
  3. buildings or structures collectively
  4. the structure or design of anythingthe architecture of the universe
  5. the internal organization of a computer's components with particular reference to the way in which data is transmitted
  6. the arrangement of the various devices in a complete computer system or network
Derived Formsarchitectural, adjectivearchitecturally, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for architecture

1560s, from Middle French architecture, from Latin architectura, from architectus "architect" (see architect).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper