1. Something made up of a number of parts that are held or put together in a particular way: hierarchical social structure.
2. The way in which parts are arranged or put together to form a whole; makeup: triangular in structure.
3. The interrelation or arrangement of parts in a complex entity: political structure; plot structure.
4. Something constructed, such as a building.
a. The arrangement or formation of the tissues, organs, or other parts of an organism.
b. An organ or other part of an organism.
tr.v. struc·tured, struc·tur·ing, struc·tures
To give form or arrangement to: structure a curriculum; structure one's day.
[Middle English, the process of building, from Latin strūctūra, from strūctus, past participle of struere, to construct; see ster-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.