structure


structure
structure 1 *building, edifice, pile
2 Structure, anatomy, framework, skeleton are often used interchangeably.
Structure is by far the richest in implications and the widest in its range of application. In general it denotes the formation, arrangement, and articulation of parts in something built up by nature or made by man. Often the word implies reference to everything that enters into the makeup of a particular body, organism, edifice, fabric, or substance; thus, a study of the structure of a brain involves attention to the two kinds of matter (gray and white) of which it is composed, to the three parts (forebrain, midbrain, hindbrain) into which it is divided, to the subdivisions of each of these parts, to the connections and interrelations between all these divisions, and to any peculiarities in form or arrangement of parts. Sometimes, however, structure implies a reference to certain features only, as for example: the parts or elements which distinguish kinds rather than individuals
{

crocodiles and alligators exhibit certain differences in structure

}
or the parts or features which are essential or necessary to a thing's existence as distinguished from those that are removable, detachable, or dispensable
{

in Gothic architecture the pointed arch is part of the structure and is not a decorative addition

}
or the parts or features that reveal the underlying design as opposed to those that complete the work or bring it into fullness of being
{

study the structure of a poem

}
Anatomy may be pre-ferred when the typical structure of an organism or of an organ is to be denoted
{

the anatomy of an ape

}
{

the anatomy of the heart

}
Framework and skeleton are applied to the underlying or supporting structure.
Framework is used chiefly in reference to an artificial construction which serves as a prop and a guide in building but which is not visible in the completed thing
{

the framework of a sofa

}
{

the carpenters are now working on the framework for the house

}
Skeleton is frequently used in the building trades for a rigid framework, especially one made of steel; it is often used in place of structure, design, outline in reference to literary constructions, sometimes to imply that the design is carefully developed and its parts definitely articulated
{

the skeleton of his argument is now finished

}
but more often, probably, to indicate a sketchy conception of the whole which serves as a starting point
{

he has the skeleton of his plot in mind

}
In either case it is usually further implied that the writing out in literary form and the elaboration of atmosphere, details, characters remain to be accomplished.
Analogous words: integration, articulation, concatenation (see under INTEGRATE): organization, arrangement (see corresponding verbs at ORDER): *system, organism, scheme, complex

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • structure — [ stryktyr ] n. f. • 1528; « construction » XIVe; lat. structura, de struere « construire » 1 ♦ Manière dont un édifice est construit; agencement des parties d un bâtiment. ⇒aussi superstructure. « L immobile structure des cathédrales »… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • structuré — structure [ stryktyr ] n. f. • 1528; « construction » XIVe; lat. structura, de struere « construire » 1 ♦ Manière dont un édifice est construit; agencement des parties d un bâtiment. ⇒aussi superstructure. « L immobile structure des cathédrales » …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Structure — is a fundamental and sometimes intangible notion covering the recognition, observation, nature, and stability of patterns and relationships of entities. From a child s verbal description of a snowflake, to the detailed scientific analysis of the… …   Wikipedia

  • structure — structure, social structure A term loosely applied to any recurring pattern of social behaviour; or, more specifically, to the ordered interrelationships between the different elements of a social system or society . Thus, for example, the… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Structure — Struc ture, n. [L. structura, from struere, structum, to arrange, build, construct; perhaps akin to E. strew: cf. F. structure. Cf. {Construe}, {Destroy}, {Instrument}, {Obstruct}.] 1. The act of building; the practice of erecting buildings;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • structure — STRUCTURE. s. f. La maniere dont un edifice est basti. La structure de ce bastiment est agreable. ce Palais est d une structure solide. On dit, La structure du corps humain, pour dire, La maniere dont le corps humain est composé, dont les parties …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • structure — I (composition) noun arrangement, configuration, constitution, design, disposition, essence, fabric, form, formation, layout, make up, organization, pattern, plan, set up, shape, style, substance II (edifice) noun building, establishment,… …   Law dictionary

  • structure — [struk′chər] n. [ME < L structura < structus, pp. of struere, to heap together, arrange: see STREW] 1. manner of building, constructing, or organizing 2. something built or constructed, as a building or dam 3. the arrangement or… …   English World dictionary

  • structure — [n1] makeup, form anatomy, architecture, arrangement, build, complex, configuration, conformation, construction, design, fabric, fabrication, format, formation, frame, framework, interrelation, make, morphology, network, order, organization,… …   New thesaurus

  • structure — ► NOUN 1) the arrangement of and relations between the parts of something complex. 2) a building or other object constructed from several parts. 3) the quality of being well organized. ► VERB ▪ give structure to. ORIGIN Latin structura, from… …   English terms dictionary