word order


Definition of word order

: the order or arrangement of words in a phrase, clause, or sentence

Examples of word order in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web English speakers use word order for this function, but this is by no means the only option. 5. Michelle Sheehan, Quartz, "Five reasons English speakers struggle to learn other languages," 3 July 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 The loss of case in modern English means that word order must be relatively fixed, usually subject, verb and object in that sequence. The Economist, "JohnsonIn the court of common usage, an old pronoun is losing its case," 1 Mar. 2018 In English and other case-poor languages, from Swedish to Vietnamese, the solution is word order. The Economist, "JohnsonIn the court of common usage, an old pronoun is losing its case," 1 Mar. 2018 While the grammar is fairly alien to English speakers—word order is unimportant to give a sentence meaning, and subjects and objects are reflected by changes to the verbs—the pronunciation was really the more complicated problem. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "How to Resurrect a Lost Language," 19 Apr. 2017

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

1872, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of word order was in 1872

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Cite this Entry

“Word order.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/word%20order. Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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