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grammar definition


This page has 11 definitions of grammar in English and Manx. Grammar is a noun and verb. Examples of how to use grammar in a sentence are shown. Also define these 15 related words and terms: language, linguistics, morphology, syntax, computing, theory, formal language, rule, principle, knowledge, skill, textbook, grammar school, discourse, and grammar.

English grammar definition

Alternative forms


From Middle English gramer, gramarye, gramery, from Old French gramaire (classical learning), from Latin grammatica, from Ancient Greek γραμματική (grammatikḗ, skilled in writing), from γράμμα (grámma, line of writing), from γράφω (gráphō, write), from Proto-Indo-European *gerbʰ- (to carve, scratch). Displaced native Old English stæfcræft.



grammar (countable and uncountable, plural grammars)

  1. A system of rules and principles for speaking and writing a language.
  2. (uncountable, linguistics) The study of the internal structure of words (morphology) and the use of words in the construction of phrases and sentences (syntax).
    • Linguistics definition
      The scientific study of language.
    • Morphology definition
      A scientific study of form and structure, usually without regard to function. Especially:
      1. The study of the internal structure of morphemes (words and their semantic building blocks).
      2. The study of the form and structure of animals and plants.
      3. The study of the structure of rocks and landforms.
      4. Mathematical morphology.
      (1 of 7 morphology definitions)
  3. A book describing the rules of grammar of a language.
  4. (computing theory) A formal system specifying the syntax of a language.
    • 2006, Patrick Blackburn · Johan Bos · Kristina Striegnitz, Learn Prolog Now!, §8.2
      Because real lexicons are big and complex, from a software engineering perspective it is best to write simple grammars that have a simple, well-defined way, of pulling out the information they need from vast lexicons. That is, grammars should be thought of as separate entities which can access the information contained in lexicons. We can then use specialised mechanisms for efficiently storing the lexicon and retrieving data from it.
  5. Actual or presumed prescriptive notions about the correct use of a language.
  6. (computing theory) A formal system defining a formal language
  7. The basic rules or principles of a field of knowledge or a particular skill.
    • Knowledge definition
      The fact of knowing about something; general understanding or familiarity with a subject, place, situation etc. (1 of 12 knowledge definitions)
  8. (Britain, archaic) A textbook.
    a grammar of geography
  9. (Britain) A grammar school.
    • 2012, Graeme Paton, A green light for more grammars? (in The Daily Telegraph, 11 January 2012)


  • (study & field of study in medieval Latin contexts): glomery
  • (linguistics): morpho-syntax (from the relationship between morphology and syntax)


  • context-sensitive grammar
  • finite-state grammar
  • Turing-complete grammar
  • normative grammar

Derived terms

Related terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.


grammar (third-person singular simple present grammars, present participle grammaring, simple past and past participle grammared)

  1. (obsolete, intransitive) To discourse according to the rules of grammar; to use grammar.

See also

Further reading

Manx grammar definition


grammar m (genitive singular , plural )

  1. grammar


Manx mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
grammar ghrammar ngrammar
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.


Related terms