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 2), 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 2) and syntax (see syntax sense 1)
2a : the characteristic system of inflections (see inflection sense 2) 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 grammar (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 Poor grammar, inflated sentences and misspellings undermine readers' trust. Gary Gilson, Star Tribune, "Wordplay can make meaning clearer," 23 Jan. 2021 When mutations violate that grammar, the virus reaches an evolutionary dead end. Gregory Barber, Wired, "Can an AI Predict the Language of Viral Mutation?," 14 Jan. 2021 But more important, Hawaii’s educators generally hadn’t yet figured out how to teach Hawaiian vocabulary and grammar, or give eager youngsters like Pele and Kekoa opportunities to immerse themselves in Hawaiian speech. Daniella Zalcman, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Inspiring Quest to Revive the Hawaiian Language," 17 Nov. 2020 An incoming president who believes in science, facts and grammar. Heather Knight,, "Red tape slashed? New legislation would prevent one person from blocking city projects," 10 Nov. 2020 To the joy of the righteous and grammar nerds across the world, McCue continued her schooling. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "Celebrity Cruises Capt. Kate McCue sinks sexist online troll with hilarious viral video," 8 Oct. 2020 Parents are not only responding to their children's questions about algebra and grammar. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Prescription for COVID-19 fatigue: Spiritual leaders say simplify life, be generous, listen to your children," 30 Sep. 2020 The essay was required to be no more than 300 words, and all essays were judged by a panel of geoscientists on grammar, content, presentation, creativity and relevance to and incorporation of the topic. Ed Wittenberg, cleveland, "Chagrin Falls Schools students happy to be back in full-day, in-person learning," 21 Jan. 2021 Too many end up like Gary, an old friend of Henry’s who now lives on the street, scamming clothing stores, correcting people’s grammar and smoking crack. Jonathan Russell Clark, Los Angeles Times, "A pro skater’s novel rides the triumphs and wipeouts of a precarious career," 22 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for grammar

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for grammar

Last Updated

5 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Grammar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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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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