- the study of the rules for the formation of grammatical sentences in a language.
- the study of the patterns of formation of sentences and phrases from words.
- the rules or patterns so studied: English syntax.
- a presentation of these: a syntax of English.
- an instance of these: the syntax of a sentence.
- that branch of modern logic that studies the various kinds of signs that occur in a system and the possible arrangements of those signs, complete abstraction being made of the meaning of the signs.
- the outcome of such a study when directed upon a specified language.
- a system or orderly arrangement.
- Computers. the grammatical rules and structural patterns governing the ordered use of appropriate words and symbols for issuing commands, writing code, etc., in a particular software application or programming language.
Origin of syntax
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for syntax
The style is stuffy, the syntax is antique, and the conceit is never really convincing.Robin Sloan’s Book Bag: Five Science Fiction Books That Matter
September 24, 2013
Butler's syntax sometimes gets in the way of understanding what she's asserting as fact.
From the syntax, it's a separate item, as if the requirement for the loyalty oath is law.
Syntax aside, the real consideration is the degree to which Romney can afford to alienate Hispanic Americans.Mitt Romney Is a Lot Like Thomas E. Dewey, the Equivocating Loser to Truman
June 18, 2012
If you did learn to read it, you would discover the alienness of the syntax and structure.Why I’ve Learned Many Languages by Aravind Adiga
February 19, 2012
Grammarians may criticize the syntax of the President's message, and the style.Diary from November 12, 1862, to October 18, 1863
Examples in Syntax, Accidence, and Style, for criticism and correction.Textiles
William H. Dooley
So with Mrs. Wheelwright—Mr. Syntax was equally a stranger to her.Ups and Downs in the Life of a Distressed Gentleman
William L. Stone
This syntax is a product of erotic experts, writers, and imagemakers.The Civilization of Illiteracy
He tried, he struggled, but the syntax was too much for him.The New Education
- the branch of linguistics that deals with the grammatical arrangement of words and morphemes in the sentences of a language or of languages in general
- the totality of facts about the grammatical arrangement of words in a language
- a systematic statement of the rules governing the grammatical arrangement of words and morphemes in a language
- logic a systematic statement of the rules governing the properly formed formulas of a logical system
- any orderly arrangement or system
C17: from Late Latin syntaxis, from Greek suntaxis, from suntassein to put in order, from syn- + tassein to arrange
Word Origin and History for syntax
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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.