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 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 And there’s the telltale sign of any scam – bad grammar and misspelled words, along with URLs that are close to, but not the same, as the company’s (Fedx vs FedEx). Chris Morris, Fortune, "FedEx text scam: These fake personalized ‘alerts’ could result in identity theft," 23 Jan. 2020 Mr Baron tracks the first such ruling to a 16th-century Latin grammar, which declared the masculine the more honourable gender that, where necessary, encompasses the feminine. The Economist, "Johnson Who do they think they are?," 18 Jan. 2020 Ryan said a panel of six judges used a rubric to assess the originality, organization, descriptive language and grammar (including punctuation and spelling) of the essays. Carol Kovach, cleveland, "Zenovia Parkanzky’s essay wins chamber of commerce ‘Why I Love Lakewood’ contest," 9 Dec. 2019 Increasingly, those videos are then pored over by algorithms analyzing details such as words and grammar, facial expressions and the tonality of the job applicant's voice, trying to determine what kinds of attributes a person may have. Rachel Metz, CNN, "There's a new obstacle to landing a job after college: Getting approved by AI," 15 Jan. 2020 There is a simple, regular grammar that is typical of creoles. Annalee Newitz And Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Nick Farmer knows dozens of languages, so he invented one for The Expanse," 22 Dec. 2019 Not perfect grammar, true, but Murphy, so eager to help, hardly noticed., "A plea from a friend, via a hacked e-mail account, is a cautionary tale about scams - The Boston Globe," 9 Dec. 2019 Chesterton Academy, named after Catholic writer G.K. Chesterton, specializes in classical instruction, a teaching approach that emphasizes grammar, rhetoric and logic. Mary Divine, Twin Cities, "Catholic high school to open in Stillwater in August; City Council approves use permit," 4 Dec. 2019 Unlike math or grammar, relationship skills aren’t something we’re taught in school. Molly Burford, Allure, "Couples Counseling Leads to Better Communication and Healthier Relationships," 9 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for grammar

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

3 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Grammar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for grammar


How to pronounce grammar (audio)

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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