[ gram-er ]
See synonyms for grammar on
  1. the study of the way the sentences of a language are constructed; morphology and syntax.

  2. these features or constructions themselves: English grammar.

  1. an account of these features; a set of rules accounting for these constructions: a grammar of English.

  2. Generative Grammar. a device, as a body of rules, whose output is all of the sentences that are permissible in a given language, while excluding all those that are not permissible.

  3. knowledge or usage of the preferred or prescribed forms in speaking or writing: She said his grammar was terrible.

  4. the elements of any science, art, or subject.

  5. a book treating such elements.

Origin of grammar

1325–75; Middle English gramery<Old French gramaire<Latin gramatica<Greek grammatikḕ (téchnē) grammatical (art); see -ar2

Other words from grammar

  • gram·mar·less, adjective

Words that may be confused with grammar

Words Nearby grammar Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use grammar in a sentence

  • The second grammar class had been relieved from a recitation by this confab, and somehow Perry had a subduing influence.

  • A barber having a dispute with a parish clerk on a point of grammar, the latter said it was a downright barbarism, indeed.

  • French, the English grammar, and the rudiments of Latin comprised the only systematic training which she received.

  • There was Cliff Manning, you turned the cold shoulder to him because he couldnt talk grammar.

    Tessa Wadsworth's Discipline | Jennie M. Drinkwater
  • He wouldnt talk grammar, or he couldnt spell or read Greek, and she will turn away, laughed Mrs. Wadsworth.

    Tessa Wadsworth's Discipline | Jennie M. Drinkwater

British Dictionary definitions for grammar


/ (ˈɡræmə) /

  1. the branch of linguistics that deals with syntax and morphology, sometimes also phonology and semantics

  2. the abstract system of rules in terms of which a person's mastery of his native language can be explained

  1. a systematic description of the grammatical facts of a language

  2. a book containing an account of the grammatical facts of a language or recommendations as to rules for the proper use of a language

    • the use of language with regard to its correctness or social propriety, esp in syntax: the teacher told him to watch his grammar

    • (as modifier): a grammar book

  3. the elementary principles of a science or art: the grammar of drawing

Origin of grammar

C14: from Old French gramaire, from Latin grammatica, from Greek grammatikē (tekhnē) the grammatical (art), from grammatikos concerning letters, from gramma letter

Derived forms of grammar

  • grammarless, 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

Cultural definitions for grammar


The rules for standard use of words. A grammar is also a system for classifying and analyzing the elements of language.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.