(in transformational-generative grammar) the underlying semantic or syntactic representation of a sentence, from which the surface structure may be derived.
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A bet is synonymous with a wager, but what does it mean in New York?
Compare surface structure.
Origin of deep structure
An Americanism dating back to 1960–65
Words nearby deep structure
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for deep structure
generative grammar a representation of a sentence at a level where logical or grammatical relations are made explicit, before transformational rules have been appliedCompare surface structure
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