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[sin-tak-tik] /sɪnˈtæk tɪk/
of or relating to syntax: syntactic errors in English;
the syntactic rules for computer source code.
consisting of or noting morphemes that are combined in the same order as they would be if they were separate words in a corresponding construction:
The word blackberry, which consists of an adjective followed by a noun, is a syntactic compound.
Also, syntactical.
Origin of syntactic
1570-80; < New Latin syntacticus < Greek syntaktikós, equivalent to syntakt(ós) ordered, arranged together, verbid of syntássein to arrange together (syn- syn- + tag-, base of tássein to arrange + -tos adj. suffix) + -ikos -ic; see tactic
Related forms
syntactically, adverb
nonsyntactic, adjective
nonsyntactical, adjective
nonsyntactically, adverb
unsyntactic, adjective
unsyntactical, adjective
unsyntactically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for syntactic
Historical Examples
  • They are haunted by verbs, noun-substantives, roots, and syntactic passages.

    Dickens and His Illustrators Frederic G. Kitton
  • Only at that moment did language gain a semantic and syntactic dimension (as we call them in today's terminology).

  • Henceforth, the new design no longer takes place at a syntactic or a semantic level, but is pragmatically driven.

  • Language use seems so natural that its syntactic and value-loaded conventions are not questioned.

  • But stress has done more than articulate or unify sequences that in their own right imply a syntactic relation.

    Language Edward Sapir
  • In the isolating languages the syntactic relations are expressed by the position of the words in the sentence.

    Language Edward Sapir
  • Hence the 16th century shows a syntactic licence and freedom which distinguishes it strikingly from that of later times.

  • The purposes for which the processes are used are derivation, modification, and syntactic relation.

    On the Evolution of Language John Wesley Powell
  • syntactic relation must not be confounded with the relation expressed by prepositions.

    On the Evolution of Language John Wesley Powell
  • syntactic relation is the relation of the parts of speech to each other as integral parts of a sentence.

    On the Evolution of Language John Wesley Powell
British Dictionary definitions for syntactic


Also synˈtactical. relating to or determined by syntax
(logic, linguistics) describable wholly with respect to the grammatical structure of an expression or the rules of well-formedness of a formal system
Derived Forms
syntactically, adverb
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 syntactic

1807, from Modern Latin syntacticus, from Greek syntaktikos, from syntassein (see syntax).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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