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[struhk-cher-uh-liz-uh m] /ˈstrʌk tʃər əˌlɪz əm/
any theory that embodies structural principles.
Origin of structuralism
1945-50; structural + -ism
Related forms
structuralist, noun, adjective
structuralistic, adjective
antistructuralist, noun, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for structuralism
  • Generations of students considered him the father of structuralism-the theory of underlying order in everything.
  • The rise and influence of structuralism and then poststructuralism.
  • It developed via structuralism and its emphasis on linguistics and semiotics.
British Dictionary definitions for structuralism


an approach to anthropology and other social sciences and to literature that interprets and analyses its material in terms of oppositions, contrasts, and hierarchical structures, esp as they might reflect universal mental characteristics or organizing principles Compare functionalism
an approach to linguistics that analyses and describes the structure of language, as distinguished from its comparative and historical aspects
Derived Forms
structuralist, noun, 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
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Word Origin and History for structuralism

1907, originally in psychology; see structural + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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