• synonyms


[suhb-struhk-cher, suhb-struhk-]
See more synonyms for substructure on Thesaurus.com
  1. a structure forming the foundation of a building or other construction.
  2. the foundations, piers, and abutments upon which the trusses or girders of the spans of a bridge rest.
  3. any basic structure or organization.
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Origin of substructure

First recorded in 1720–30; sub- + structure
Related formssub·struc·tur·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for substructure

Historical Examples

  • Nothing is stable without a substructure of sagacious purpose.

    Kophetua the Thirteenth

    Julian Corbett

  • Dome and towers are planted upon a substructure no less admirable.

  • And as to the science of the game, with its substructure of nerve, he possessed it in excelsis.

    Bulldog Carney

    W. A. Fraser

  • Surely there must be unification of the superstructure as well as of the substructure.

  • In a bridge there may be distinguished the superstructure and the substructure.

British Dictionary definitions for substructure


  1. a structure, pattern, etc, that forms the basis of anything
  2. a structure forming a foundation or framework for a building or other construction
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Derived Formssubstructural, 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 substructure


1726, from sub- + structure (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

substructure in Medicine


  1. A tissue or structure wholly or partly beneath the surface.
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Related formssub•structur•al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.