• synonyms


[struhk-cher-uh-liz-uh m]
  1. any theory that embodies structural principles.
  2. structural anthropology.
  3. structural linguistics.
  4. structural psychology.
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Origin of structuralism

First recorded in 1945–50; structural + -ism
Related formsstruc·tur·al·ist, noun, adjectivestruc·tur·al·is·tic, adjectivean·ti·struc·tur·al·ist, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Contemporary Examples

British Dictionary definitions for structuralism


  1. an approach to anthropology and other social sciences and to literature that interprets and analyses its material in terms of oppositions, contrasts, and hierarchical structures, esp as they might reflect universal mental characteristics or organizing principlesCompare functionalism
  2. an approach to linguistics that analyses and describes the structure of language, as distinguished from its comparative and historical aspects
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Derived Formsstructuralist, noun, adjective
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 structuralism


1907, originally in psychology; see structural + -ism.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper