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 ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.