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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web All letters are subject to editing for length, grammar, style and interest. Elliot Kaufman, WSJ, 24 Mar. 2022 And be sure to scrutinize your resume for any spelling or grammar errors before hitting send. Kathryn Vasel, CNN, 20 Apr. 2022 Orwell’s desire to avoid bad writing is not the desire to defend rigid rules of grammar. Mark Satta, The Conversation, 14 Mar. 2022 This conversation has been lightly edited for grammar and clarity. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 15 Mar. 2022 Prior to the 20th century, American education was almost universally classical in nature — great books, grammar and rhetoric, direct teacher guidance, a healthy patriotism. Garion Frankel, National Review, 5 Mar. 2022 Soon, the nearby grandmother will be taking on daily care of this grandson, and her grammar is poor. Washington Post, 18 Mar. 2022 The tool flags spelling and grammar mistakes in a discreet but authoritative way. David Nield, Wired, 27 Feb. 2022 The camera was there to install a grammar where gears are constantly shifted from first gear to fifth gear to third gear. Jd Linville, Variety, 10 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Grammar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for grammar


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

More from Merriam-Webster on grammar

Nglish: Translation of grammar for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grammar for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about grammar


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