View synonyms for grammar


[ gram-er ]


  1. the study of the way the sentences of a language are constructed; morphology and syntax.
  2. these features or constructions themselves:

    English grammar.

  3. an account of these features; a set of rules accounting for these constructions:

    a grammar of English.

  4. 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.
  5. knowledge or usage of the preferred or prescribed forms in speaking or writing:

    She said his grammar was terrible.

  6. the elements of any science, art, or subject.
  7. a book treating such elements.


/ 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
  3. a systematic description of the grammatical facts of a language
  4. a book containing an account of the grammatical facts of a language or recommendations as to rules for the proper use of a language
    1. the use of language with regard to its correctness or social propriety, esp in syntax

      the teacher told him to watch his grammar

    2. ( as modifier )

      a grammar book

  5. the elementary principles of a science or art

    the grammar of drawing


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

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Derived Forms

  • ˈgrammarless, adjective

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Other Words From

  • grammar·less adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of grammar1

1325–75; Middle English gramery < Old French gramaire < Latin gramatica < Greek grammatikḕ ( téchnē ) grammatical (art); -ar 2

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Word History and Origins

Origin of grammar1

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

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Example Sentences

They had enough predictive power to be useful for applications like autocomplete, but not enough to generate a long sentence that followed grammar rules and common sense.

Platform limitations, certainly, and an inherent understanding that it’s part of the internet’s cinematic grammar.

From Vox

Your ideas evoke probably the only controversy in the linguistics world that has spilled over to popular culture—the debate over “universal grammar.”

I wanted to take people’s minds away from this notion of grammar as something dry and boring, and something that people get told at school, and convey this fact that combining words into sentences is a wonder.

If universal grammar is a capacity of the human species alone, then of course the Pirahã have universal grammar.

At his best, he was an inventor of part of the modern cinema's grammar.

Fear of offending the grammar police can even produce a novel type of error called a hypercorrection.

The outraged grammar stickler mistakes a convention for an immutable and fundamental law of the universe.

When you approached T.I., London Grammar, and Fall Out Boy to do this, what was their initial response to it?

At one point did you think, “T.I., London Grammar, and Fall Out Boy together”?

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.

He wouldnt talk grammar, or he couldnt spell or read Greek, and she will turn away, laughed Mrs. Wadsworth.


Related Words

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More About Grammar

What is grammar?

Grammar is the study of how sentences in a specific language are constructed.

Grammar also refers to the features and rules of the language that guide users to creating properly constructed sentences. When we follow grammar rules it helps our listeners and readers understand what we’re trying to communicate.

For example, one feature of English grammar is that the order of the words in a sentence helps tell us what job each word is doing. If we put all the nouns at the front of the sentence, as in I dogs own three, you’d wonder what we meant. When we put the subject of the sentence before the verb and the object after it, as in I own three dogs, you can understand what we mean.

As with most languages, English has many different aspects of grammar that we follow in order to make understandable sentences. Most people learn and improve their grammar throughout their lives, starting when they first learn the language.

Why is grammar important?

The first records of the word grammar comes from around 1325. It ultimately comes from the Greek word grammatikós, meaning “knowing one’s letters.”

The idea of grammar is much older than the word itself and older even than the English language, as we can see from the word’s origin. Every major language on Earth has some system of grammar, and some language experts believe that language itself cannot exist without grammar.

Usually, children learn to speak their first language without actually being taught the rules of grammar. Instead, they slowly learn by copying how other people talk. Once they start school, children are taught the rules they’ve been using unconsciously. Students are taught different grammar concepts throughout their schooling. People whose jobs directly relate to language, such as writers, editors, linguists, and lexicographers, learn even more about grammar as part of their job training.

Did you know … ?

Some people are especially bothered by even the smallest grammar errors, which we all make. Unfortunately, the errors many people are bothered by are not actually errors. You can learn more about this tendency at the entry for grammar nazi, though you might not want to use that term itself.

What are real-life examples of grammar?

Many children learned grammar from books like these:

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Although many people care about grammar, they often struggle with it, especially on social media.


What other words are related to grammar?

Quiz yourself!

True or False?

Grammar only matters when it comes to writing and not speaking.