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grammar

Line breaks: gram|mar
Pronunciation: /ˈɡramə
 
/

Definition of grammar in English:

noun

1 [mass noun] The whole system and structure of a language or of languages in general, usually taken as consisting of syntax and morphology (including inflections) and sometimes also phonology and semantics.
Example sentences
  • To analyse language and to define language disorders most linguists divide language into four domains: phonology, grammar, semantics, and pragmatics.
  • While these languages shared phonology and grammar, they had entirely different vocabularies.
  • Try to imagine a world without language; a world where words, grammar and syntax suddenly become meaningless.
Synonyms
syntax, rules of language, morphology, semantics;
linguistics, phonology
technical langue
1.1 [usually with modifier] A particular analysis of the system and structure of language or of a specific language: Chomskyan grammar
More example sentences
  • This grammar is the first pedagogic grammar to integrate syntax and lexis using corpus data.
  • Note again that the rules of Chomskyan grammar are intended to explain the ability and the intuition of the native speaker of the language.
  • Functional Grammar (FG) is a descriptive and theoretical model of the organization of natural (spoken and signed) language.
1.2 [count noun] A book on grammar: my old Latin grammar
More example sentences
  • They don't look anything up in serious grammars or dictionaries.
  • Almost entirely in the specialist literature: in the big reference grammars of English, in college textbooks, and the like.
  • This interest gathered serious strength during the Italian Renaissance, inspiring travellers such as Pietro della Valle in 1626, to bring back what proved to be Coptic grammars and dictionaries from the Middle East.
1.3A set of actual or presumed prescriptive notions about correct use of a language: it was not bad grammar, just dialect
More example sentences
  • There are guides to correct grammar, spelling and punctuation and examples from great writers.
  • My applications were struck out on technicalities and for not using the correct jargon, or for bad English grammar, but this should not have precluded me from having my case go to trial.
  • All journalists I know correct a bit of bad grammar in an occasional quote, out of courtesy to the source and reader.
1.4The basic elements of an area of knowledge or skill: the grammar of wine
More example sentences
  • Fluency with calculation is the basic grammar of mathematics.
  • Like a language, the military art has its own lexicon, grammar, and syntax.
  • What follows is a painstaking analysis of the grammar of war, the way an army thinks, and what happens to the cities the author has so beautifully described in his other books when they get in the way of generals.
1.5 Computing A set of rules governing what strings are valid or allowable in a language or text.
Example sentences
  • These six rules define the grammar of a two-function calculator designed to process input strings.
  • A tree corresponding to the Newick string was generated by our grammar.
  • I plan on continuing with the online grammar / editing conferences next semester.
2British informal A grammar school.
Example sentences
  • While the Government may be keen to trumpet the success of its favoured specialist centres, looking at the basic GCSE and A-level results the top tables were however dominated by the private schools and the grammars.
  • Results of the tests determine whether they go to a grammar or a high school in September.
  • The department says the sample was ‘stratified ‘to represent different types of schools such as grammars and comprehensives.’

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French gramaire, via Latin from Greek grammatikē (tekhnē) '(art) of letters', from gramma, grammat- 'letter of the alphabet, thing written'.

More
  • glamour from (early 18th century):

    Although the two words are rarely associated with each other, glamour and grammar are related. Glamour was originally a Scots word meaning ‘enchantment or magic’ or ‘a magic spell or charm’—if someone cast the glamour over you, they enchanted or bewitched you—and was an altered form of grammar. Greek gramma ‘a letter of the alphabet, something written down’ was the source of grammar, which in medieval times had the sense ‘scholarship or learning’. Learning and the study of books was popularly associated with astrology and occult practices, hence the connection with magic. ‘Magical beauty’ became associated with glamour in the mid 19th century, and from the 1930s the word was particularly used of attractive women. In the early 1970s a new kind of glamour was displayed largely by men—glam rock, in which acts wore exaggeratedly flamboyant clothes and glittery make-up. See also prestige

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