gram·​mar | \ ˈgra-mər How to pronounce grammar (audio) \

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 How to pronounce grammarian (audio) \ 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

The troll soon found himself on the receiving end of a scorched-earth grammar lesson, courtesy of Philipps herself. Emily Wang, Glamour, "Busy Philipps Just Used Grammar to Shut Down a Body-Shaming Troll," 21 Aug. 2018 Mencken set out to describe and account for the differences, obvious and subtle, between English and American vocabulary, pronunciation, syntax, intonation, idiom, grammar, slang, euphemism and much more. Joseph Epstein, WSJ, "We All Speak American," 10 Aug. 2018 After all, using bad grammar on Facebook can create a tense situation. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, "10 incredibly useful online sites you didn't know about," 16 Feb. 2018 Strategies include sending email ostensibly from someone the recipient knows and improving grammar and spelling. Brooke Crothers, Fox News, "Russia is the top aggressor of internet attacks on the US," 7 Sep. 2018 Having started late last month, the college is hosting 25 free workshops mainly focused on topics relating to grammar, but also involving other work skills. Andrew J. Campa,, "Free workshops offer GCC students, teachers more personalized lessons," 10 July 2018 There were six separate changes to grammar or word choice, the official said. Nicholas Fandos And Adam Goldman, New York Times, "Trump Clears Way for Secret Memo’s Release," 1 Feb. 2018 The confusion has been so great that, in a major Supreme Court case, linguistics professors submitted a brief providing the justices with lessons on the punctuation and grammar. Kurt Eichenwald, Newsweek, "Americans Don't Have the Right to Bear Just Any Arms," 16 July 2015 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

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

17 Mar 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 How to pronounce grammar (audio) \

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).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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