Definition of structure noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈstrʌktʃə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈstrʌktʃər//
    Structures, Construction
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  1. 1  [uncountable, countable] the way in which the parts of something are connected together, arranged or organized; a particular arrangement of parts the structure of the building changes in the social and economic structure of society the grammatical structures of a language a salary structure Synonymsstructureframework form composition construction fabricThese are all words for the way the different parts of something combine together or the way that something has been made.structure the way in which the parts of something are connected together or arranged; a particular arrangement of parts:the structure of the building/​human body the social structure of society the grammatical structures of a language a salary structureframework a set of beliefs, ideas or rules that forms the basis of a system or society:The report provides a framework for further research.form [U] the arrangement of parts in a whole, especially in a work of art of piece of writing:As a photographer, shape and form were more important to him than colour.composition [U] (rather formal) the different parts or people that combine to form something; the way in which they combine:recent changes in the composition of the workforceconstruction [U] the way that something has been built or made:ships of steel constructionfabric (rather formal) the basic structure of a society or an organization that enables it to function successfully:This is a trend which threatens the very fabric of society.Patterns the basic structure/​framework/​form/​composition/​construction/​fabric of something a simple/​complex structure/​framework/​form the economic/​political/​social structure/​framework/​composition/​fabric of something the chemical/​genetic structure/​composition of something See related entries: Construction
  2. 2  [countable] a thing that is made of several parts, especially a building a stone/brick/wooden structure Synonymsbuildingproperty premises complex structure blockThese are all words for a structure such as a house, office block or factory that has a roof and four wallsbuilding a structure such as a house, an office block or a factory that has a roof and four walls.property a building or buildings and the surrounding land; land and buildings:We have a buyer who would like to view the property. The price of property has risen enormously. This word is often used when talking about buying/​selling houses or other buildings and land.premises [pl.] the building or buildings and surrounding land that a business owns or uses:The company is looking for larger premises.complex a group of buildings of a similar type together in one place:a leisure complexstructure a thing that is made of several parts, especially a building:The pier is a wooden structure.block (British English) a tall building that contains flats or offices; a building that forms part of a school, hospital, etc. and is used for a particular purpose:a block of flats the school’s science blockPatterns a(n) commercial/​industrial/​residential building/​property/​premises/​complex/​block an apartment building/​complex/​block a/​the school building/​premises to build a property/​complex/​structure/​block to put up a building/​property/​structure/​block to demolish/​pull down a building/​property/​complex/​structure/​block See related entries: Structures, Construction
  3. 3  [uncountable, countable] the state of being well organized or planned with all the parts linked together; a careful plan Your essay needs (a) structure.
  4. Word Originlate Middle English (denoting the process of building): from Old French, or from Latin structura, from struere ‘to build’. The verb is rarely found before the 20th cent.Extra examples The cell walls of plants are of a fairly rigid structure. The cells are stacked up to form a honeycomb structure. The flimsy structure of the vehicle could not withstand even mild impacts. The job lacked a basic career structure. The novel suffers from a lack of structure. The overall structure of the book is divided into three components. There are weaknesses in the structure of the organization. policies that undermine the traditional family structure significant changes in the power structure the US military command structure the salary structure in the firm the social structure of the town to devise a new management structure A new pay structure was introduced last year. Children need structure in their lives. How does your management structure work? In terms of structure the novel has several flaws. It’s important to understand the structure of the language you are learning. Pattern, structure and order form the basis of her art. Sometimes the play was confusing and lacking in structure. Students study the structure of human societies throughout history. The country’s class structure is dominated by the very wealthy. The old-fashioned family structure is no longer the norm. The organizational structure of our schools should be examined. The pier is a wooden structure and was built in 1867. The usual career structure does not really fit in well with many women’s lives. There have been great changes in social and economic structures. Your essay needs a coherent structure. a career/​salary/​tax structure
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: structure