See more synonyms for syntactic on
  1. of or relating to syntax: syntactic errors in English; the syntactic rules for computer source code.
  2. 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. 2018

Examples from the Web for syntactical

Historical Examples of syntactical

  • "Parole in libert," words free from syntactical shackles are the words with which we shall fight the battle of the future.

    Idling in Italy

    Joseph Collins

  • The cause of this variation in the force of the two beats is to be sought in the laws of the syntactical accent.

  • The instrumental, locative and dative are mixed in one case, partly for phonetic, partly for syntactical reasons.

  • It coincides less closely than the cesura with syntactical and rhetorical pauses.

    English Verse

    Raymond MacDonald Alden, Ph.D.

  • Less generally, the rhetorical or syntactical accent in the same way takes precedence of the metrical.

    English Verse

    Raymond MacDonald Alden, Ph.D.

British Dictionary definitions for syntactical


  1. Also: synˈtactical relating to or determined by syntax
  2. 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 syntactical

1570s, from Modern Latin syntacticus, from syntaxis (see syntax). Related: Syntactically.



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper