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super- +‎ structure


superstructure (countable and uncountable, plural superstructures)

  1. (nautical) Any structure built above the top full deck (FM 55-501).
  2. Any material structure or edifice built on something else; that which is raised on a foundation or basis.
    • 2008, BioWare, Mass Effect, Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →ISBN, →OCLC, PC, scene: Citadel Station: Wards Codex entry:
      The Wards are open-topped, with skyscrapers rising from the superstructure. Towers are sealed against vacuum, as the breathable atmosphere envelope is only maintained to a height of about seven meters. The atmosphere is contained by the centrifugal force of rotation and a "membrane" of dense, colorless sulphur hexafluoride gas, held in place by carefully managed mass effect fields.
  3. (sometimes figurative) All that part of a building above the basement.
  4. (Britain, railroad) The sleepers and fastenings, in distinction from the roadbed.
  5. (Marxism) The social sphere of ideology which includes religion, art, politics, law and all traditional values.
    Antonyms: base, infrastructure, substructure
    • 1995, Richard Appignanesi, Chris Garratt, Postmodernism for Beginners, Icon Books, →ISBN, page 9:
      The superstructure evolves more slowly and is more resistant to change than the economic infrastructure, especially in the modern industrial age of advanced capitalism.




superstructure f (plural superstructures)

  1. superstructure

Further reading[edit]




  1. vocative masculine singular of superstrūctūrus