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

The fault was soon laid not only at the door of the Times, but at a feature of English grammar. The Economist, "The weasel voice in journalism," 24 May 2018 Aural anticipation of solid resolution instead opens out as the grammar reorients around the enharmonic change of perspective., "Cantata Singers perform a heavenly masterpiece," 3 May 2018 Still, followers engage with the content and rarely, if ever, raise questions about the grammar. Natasha Bertrand, The Atlantic, "The Fake Facebook Pages Targeting Vietnam Veterans," 12 Apr. 2018 Luckily, grammar sticklers have pointed out the mistake on many posts using the incorrect spelling. Andrew Clark, Indianapolis Star, "America can't spell: Melania Trump, others use #IndependanceDay — not Independence Day," 4 July 2018 American English is meant to grow wild and woolly on our shores, spawning dialects and pidgins, wantonly consuming foreign words and locutions, anarchically legitimizing slang and warped grammar. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, "The Delicate Art of Creating New Emoji," 28 June 2018 Following the morning exercise, the teacher led a grammar lesson on word prefixes and awarded students points on a touch-screen whiteboard for providing correct answers to her questions. Michelle Hackman, WSJ, "Betsy DeVos’s School-Safety Panel Hits the Road—and Meets Criticism," 31 May 2018 Their poverty is best expressed in that intellectual dead zone known as Twitter where clear thinking and kindness is too often replaced by schoolyard taunts not to mention bad spelling and bad grammar. Suzy Evans, The Hollywood Reporter, "Stephen King, Parkland Students Honored at PEN Literary Awards," 23 May 2018 The language is crude and the grammar is often even worse. Jenice Armstrong,, "Instagram's No Gun Zone is out to make Philly's mean streets safer | Jenice Armstrong," 11 July 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

13 Oct 2018

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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).


obstinately defiant of authority

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