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 syn·tac·ti·cal.

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 formssyn·tac·ti·cal·ly, adverbnon·syn·tac·tic, adjectivenon·syn·tac·ti·cal, adjectivenon·syn·tac·ti·cal·ly, adverbun·syn·tac·tic, adjectiveun·syn·tac·ti·cal, adjectiveun·syn·tac·ti·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for syntactic

Historical Examples of syntactic

  • They are haunted by verbs, noun-substantives, roots, and syntactic passages.

  • 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.


    Edward Sapir

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 Formssyntactically, 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

Word Origin and History for syntactic

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper