gram·​mar | \ ˈgra-mər \

Definition of grammar

1a : the study of the classes of words, their inflections (see inflection sense 3), and their functions and relations in the sentence
b : a study of what is to be preferred and what avoided in inflection (see inflection sense 3) and syntax (see syntax sense 1)
2a : the characteristic system of inflections (see inflection sense 3) and syntax of a language
b : a system of rules that defines the grammatical structure of a language
3a : a grammar textbook
b : speech or writing evaluated according to its conformity to grammatical rules appalled at the bad grammar of college students
4 : the principles or rules of an art, science, or technique a grammar of the theater also : a set of such principles or rules

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Other Words from grammar

grammarian \ grə-​ˈmer-​ē-​ən \ noun

Examples of grammar in a Sentence

English grammar can be hard to master. comparing English and Japanese grammar comparing the grammars of English and Japanese “Him and I went” is bad grammar. I know some German, but my grammar isn't very good.
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Recent Examples on the Web

While authenticity helps essays, bad grammar in emails to admissions officers is unwelcome. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "Survive College-Application Season With the Family in One Piece," 11 Dec. 2018 The English section, which is all multiple choice, focuses on reading comprehension and correcting grammar in sentences. Tyler Blint-welsh, New York Times, "What Is the SHSAT Exam? And Why Does It Matter?," 21 June 2018 Correcting another’s pronunciation or spoken grammar without invitation has always been considered officious, if not outright rude. John E. Mcintyre,, "To serve and correct," 6 Apr. 2018 Witness the rough edges on the grammar of many immigrants even after many years in their new countries. The Economist, "To master a language, start learning it early," 10 May 2018 Google said this would help users complete emails more quickly with fewer spelling and grammar mistakes. New York Times, "Google Strikes Humble Tone While Promoting A.I. Technology," 8 May 2018 There are better things to brushing up on your grammar. Emily Wang, Glamour, "Busy Philipps Just Used Grammar to Shut Down a Body-Shaming Troll," 21 Aug. 2018 Crabb said adding culture and mythology to learning the actual language and studying grammar gives students more context. Michael Walsh, Courant Community, "Students Taking Interest In Latin," 10 July 2018 No serious translator can minimize errors of grammar or lexicon of the kind Lowe-Porter committed. Benjamin Moser, New York Times, "Did He Really Say That? On the Perils and Pitfalls of Translation," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grammar.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of grammar

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for grammar

Middle English gramere, from Anglo-French gramaire, modification of Latin grammatica, from Greek grammatikē, from feminine of grammatikos of letters, from grammat-, gramma — more at gram

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Statistics for grammar

Last Updated

6 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for grammar

The first known use of grammar was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for grammar



English Language Learners Definition of grammar

: the set of rules that explain how words are used in a language

: speech or writing judged by how well it follows the rules of grammar

: a book that explains the grammar rules of a language


gram·​mar | \ ˈgra-mər \

Kids Definition of grammar

1 : the rules of how words are used in a language
2 : speech or writing judged according to the rules of grammar

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Comments on grammar

What made you want to look up grammar? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a complex dispute or argument

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