Check out new words added to


[soo-per-struhk-cher] /ˈsu pərˌstrʌk tʃər/
the part of a building or construction entirely above its foundation or basement.
any structure built on something else.
the overlying framework or features of an organization, institution, or system, built or superimposed on a more fundamental base.
Nautical. any construction built above the main deck of a vessel as an upward continuation of the sides.
Compare deckhouse.
the part of a bridge that rests on the piers and abutments.
anything based on or rising from some foundation or basis:
a complex ideological superstructure based on two hypotheses.
Origin of superstructure
1635-45; super- + structure
Related forms
superstructural, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for superstructure
  • As a fail-safe, he added straight, diagonal cables to stiffen the superstructure.
  • The wind battered the thick windows and ripped past the superstructure with a buffeted keening.
  • The building makes use of the weathering cliffs for its superstructure.
  • The second drawing is of the mud brick superstructure surrounding the clay bricks.
  • Eleven thousand three hundred tons of superstructure steel are waiting.
  • By the nineteen-eighties, a huge superstructure had resulted from the government's war on cancer.
  • These early papers are a little flaccid in the empirical details when set next to the theoretical superstructure.
  • Now it falls to the crew to go out and de-ice the superstructure, but of course this is happening when the weather is awful.
  • Write down the big ideas that form the superstructure of the piece.
  • But critics err in arguing that a deterrence strategy does not provide a suitable superstructure for such policies.
British Dictionary definitions for superstructure


the part of a building above its foundation
any structure or concept erected on something else
(nautical) any structure above the main deck of a ship with sides flush with the sides of the hull
the part of a bridge supported by the piers and abutments
(in Marxist theory) an edifice of interdependent agencies of the state, including legal and political institutions and ideologies, each possessing some autonomy but remaining products of the dominant mode of economic production
Derived Forms
superstructural, 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for superstructure

1640s, from super- + structure (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
superstructure in Medicine

superstructure su·per·struc·ture (sōō'pər-strŭk'chər)
A structure above the surface.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for superstructure

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for superstructure

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with superstructure