any theory that embodies structural principles.

1945–50; structural + -ism

structuralist, noun, adjective
structuralistic, adjective
antistructuralist, noun, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
structuralism (ˈstrʌktʃərəˌlɪzəm)
1.  Compare functionalism 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
2.  an approach to linguistics that analyses and describes the structure of language, as distinguished from its comparative and historical aspects
n, —adj

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Example sentences
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.
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