word order

noun

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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web This revealed the importance of word order, word meaning, and word combinations in the final product—otherwise reframed as the impact of signal motif identity, function and arrangement on T cell phenotype. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 25 Jan. 2023 Research published in April suggests that some language rules, like word order, are culturally based and must be learned. Joseph Castro, Discover Magazine, 27 June 2011 These gestural communication systems often display language-like structures such as a stable vocabulary and consistent word order. Grace Neveu, Discover Magazine, 25 July 2020 Ordinary English subject-verb word order is marginalized, often in favor of lonely, attenuated prepositional phrases standing in for sentences. Pricilla Gilman, BostonGlobe.com, 18 Aug. 2022 The most concrete layer, called the surface structure, captured facts about the overt shape of the sentence (word order, inflection, and pronunciation). Geoffrey K. Pullum, National Review, 17 Feb. 2022 English speakers use word order for this function, but this is by no means the only option. 5. Michelle Sheehan, Quartz, 3 July 2019 The world’s many modern signing systems have different rules for pronunciation, word order, and grammar. National Geographic, 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, 1 Mar. 2018 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1872, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of word order was in 1872

Dictionary Entries Near word order

Cite this Entry

“Word order.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/word%20order. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

word order

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

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