syn·​tac·​tic | \ sin-ˈtak-tik How to pronounce syntactic (audio) \
variants: or syntactical \ sin-​ˈtak-​ti-​kəl How to pronounce syntactic (audio) \

Definition of syntactic

: of, relating to, or according to the rules of syntax or syntactics

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Other Words from syntactic

syntactically \ sin-​ˈtak-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce syntactic (audio) \ adverb

Examples of syntactic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Only years of practice, and perhaps a certain gift for syntactic complexity, can bring the practitioner to the highest level. George Calhoun, Forbes, 10 May 2021 Enjambment, when a syntactic unit overflows from one line to the next, is a bedrock poetic practice, one that endows poets with the capacity to make and remake meaning. Adam Bradley, New York Times, 4 Mar. 2021 Only in poetry is there so much flexibility and freedom to actually use those kind of pair words together that make intuitive sense but don’t make syntactic sense. Tara Duggan,, 30 Mar. 2020 Last Wednesday, with a pandemic spiking and the economy plummeting, Senator Charles Schumer finally lost his cool and dispensed with syntactic best practices in the name of urgency. David Roth, The New Republic, 24 Mar. 2020 Most of its bulk consists of a highly specialized syntactic foam—made of tiny ceramic spheres suspended in polymer resin—the only material able to provide buoyancy while remaining uncrushable. Susan Casey, Outside Online, 22 Oct. 2019 Language, too, has a recursive structure in which a syntactic category such as a sentence can contain other sentence clauses that in turn can contain clauses themselves, and so on. Quanta Magazine, 17 Apr. 2019 Shi and others recruited and hired current and former employees of the engineering firm in Houston, including Liu, to aid CBMF's capability to make syntactic foam. Jose R. Gonzalez, Houston Chronicle, 27 Apr. 2018 Flipping their syntactic form does nothing to their semantic role. The Economist, 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'syntactic.' 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 syntactic

1577, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for syntactic

New Latin syntacticus, from Greek syntaktikos arranging together, from syntassein

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Time Traveler for syntactic

Time Traveler

The first known use of syntactic was in 1577

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Statistics for syntactic

Last Updated

19 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Syntactic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for syntactic



English Language Learners Definition of syntactic

linguistics : of or relating to syntax


syn·​tac·​tic | \ sin-ˈtak-tik How to pronounce syntactic (audio) \
variants: or syntactical \ -​ti-​kəl How to pronounce syntactic (audio) \

Medical Definition of syntactic

: of or relating to syntactics

Other Words from syntactic

syntactically \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce syntactic (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on syntactic

Nglish: Translation of syntactic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of syntactic for Arabic Speakers


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