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

Excerpts have been lightly edited for spelling, grammar and punctuation. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "‘They can leave just as fast as they can come’: The best comments this week on," 28 June 2019 Every language has unique fossilized compound roots, obsolete grammars, the sediment of past pronunciations and local lore that contain ancient knowledge about medicine, culture and the natural world. Caitlin Hu, Quartz, "Iceland is inventing a new vocabulary for a high-tech future," 2 June 2019 The word is also, to the chagrin of grammar nuts, spelled three other ways: Menonimee (the county), Menonomee (the river), and Manoominii (an alternate spelling of the Native American tribe). Jack Mccordick, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "17 words only a true Wisconsinite knows how to pronounce," 19 June 2019 Instead, a slew of celebs, like Cole Sprouse and Mario Lopez, have responded to the extremely macho tweet (sarcasm) to point out Bieber's lack of grammar skills. Morgan Baila,, "Today In Celebrity Mad Libs: Justin Bieber Challenges Tom Cruise To A Fight?," 10 June 2019 But there's a twist: Not every shirt features the misplaced apostrophe on it, according to BuzzFeed, bolstering the hypothesis that there might be a reason for the grammar snafu. Glamour, "There's a Typo in Taylor Swift's New Merch, and Fans Can't Decide What It Means," 6 June 2019 Through grammar judgments, Fox said, listeners might make assumptions about the speaker’s intelligence or class background. Cassie Owens,, "Philly judges discuss language access following study of court reporters," 5 June 2019 The world’s many modern signing systems have different rules for pronunciation, word order, and grammar. National Geographic, "How monks helped invent sign language," 28 May 2019 She was described by family as intelligent, organized, practical, inquisitive, a stickler for proper grammar, a survivor in difficult situations, and a gentlewoman. Bonnie L. Cook,, "Gladys Palmer Bewley O’Brien, 96, former director of the Haddonfield Public Library," 5 June 2019

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

7 Jul 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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