Structure vs Pattern - What's the difference?

structure | pattern |

As nouns the difference between structure and pattern

is that structure is a cohesive whole built up of distinct parts while pattern is model, example.

As verbs the difference between structure and pattern

is that structure is to give structure to; to arrange while pattern is to apply a pattern.



(en noun)
  • A cohesive whole built up of distinct parts.
  • * {{quote-book, year=1963, author=(Margery Allingham)
  • , title=(The China Governess) , chapter=1 citation , passage=The original family who had begun to build a palace to rival Nonesuch had died out before they had put up little more than the gateway, so that the actual structure which had come down to posterity retained the secret magic of a promise rather than the overpowering splendour of a great architectural achievement.}}
    The birds had built an amazing structure out of sticks and various discarded items.
  • The underlying shape of a solid.
  • He studied the structure of her face.
  • The overall form or organization of something.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2012-03
  • , author= , title=Pixels or Perish , volume=100, issue=2, page=106 , magazine= citation , passage=Drawings and pictures are more than mere ornaments in scientific discourse. Blackboard sketches, geological maps, diagrams of molecular structure , astronomical photographs, MRI images, the many varieties of statistical charts and graphs: These pictorial devices are indispensable tools for presenting evidence, for explaining a theory, for telling a story.}}
    The structure of a sentence.
    The structure of the society was still a mystery.
  • A set of rules defining behaviour.
  • For some, the structure of school life was oppressive.
  • (computing)  Several pieces of data treated as a unit.
  • This structure contains both date and timezone information.
  • (fishing, uncountable)  Underwater terrain or objects (such as a dead tree or a submerged car) that tend to attract fish
  • There's lots of structure to be fished along the west shore of the lake; the impoundment submerged a town there when it was built.
  • A body, such as a political party, with a cohesive purpose or outlook.
  • The South African leader went off to consult with the structures .
  • (logic)  A set along with a collection of finitary functions and relations.
  • Synonyms

    * (cohesive whole built up of distinct parts) formation * (underlying shape of a solid) formation * (overall form or organization of something) makeup, configuration

    Derived terms

    * antistructure


  • To give structure to; to arrange.
  • I'm trying to structure my time better so I'm not always late.
    I've structured the deal to limit the amount of money we can lose.



    (en noun)
  • Model, example.
  • # Something from which a copy is made; a model or outline.
  • #* 1923 , ‘President Wilson’, Time , 18 Jun 1923:
  • There is no reason why all colleges and universities should be cut to the same pattern .
  • # Someone or something seen as an example to be imitated; an exemplar.
  • #* 1946 , Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy , I.16:
  • The Platonic Socrates was a pattern to subsequent philosophers for many ages.
  • #
  • #
  • # A representative example.
  • # (US) The material needed to make a piece of clothing.
  • # (textiles) The paper or cardboard template from which the parts of a garment are traced onto fabric prior to cutting out and assembling.
  • # (metalworking, dated) A full-sized model around which a mould of sand is made, to receive the melted metal. It is usually made of wood and in several parts, so as to be removed from the mould without damage.
  • # (computing) A text string containing wildcards, used for matching.
  • There were no files matching the pattern *.txt.
  • Decorative arrangement.
  • # A design, motif or decoration, especially formed from regular repeated elements.
  • #* 2003 , Valentino, ‘Is there a future in fashion's past?’, Time , 5 Feb 2003:
  • On my way to work the other day, I stopped at a church in Rome and saw a painting of the Madonna. The subtle pattern of blues and golds in the embroidery of her dress was so amazing that I used it to design a new evening dress for my haute couture.
  • # A naturally-occurring or random arrangement of shapes, colours etc. which have a regular or decorative effect.
  • #* 2011 , Rachel Cooke, The Observer , 19 Jun 2011:
  • He lifted the entire joint or fowl up into the air, speared on a carving fork, and sliced pieces off it so that they fell on the plate below in perfectly organised patterns .
  • # The given spread, range etc. of shot fired from a gun.
  • # A particular sequence of events, facts etc. which can be understood, used to predict the future, or seen to have a mathematical, geometric, statistical etc. relationship.
  • #* 1980 , ‘Shifting Targets’, Time , 6 Oct 1980:
  • The three killings pointed to an ugly new shift in the enduring pattern of violence in Northern Ireland: the mostly Protestant Ulster police, or those suspected of affiliation with them, have become more prominent targets for the I.R.A. than the British troops.
  • #* 2003 , Kate Hudson, The Guardian , 14 Aug 2003:
  • Look again at how the US and its allies behaved then, and the pattern is unmistakable.
  • # (linguistics) An intelligible arrangement in a given area of language.
  • Synonyms

    * original (1) * stencil (1) * tessellation (2) * category (3) * cycle (4) * similarity (5) * See also


    * antipattern

    Derived terms

    * design pattern


    (en verb)
  • to apply a pattern
  • To make or design (anything) by, from, or after, something that serves as a pattern; to copy; to model; to imitate.
  • * Sir T. Herbert
  • [A temple] patterned from that which Adam reared in Paradise.
  • to follow an example
  • *
  • to fit into a pattern
  • To serve as an example for.
  • Synonyms

    * model * categorize (2)