From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English gramere, from Old French gramaire (classical learning), from unattested Vulgar Latin *grammāria, an alteration of 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; a doublet of glamour, glamoury, gramarye, and grimoire.



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).
  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.
    • 2011, Javier Solana, Daniel Innerarity, Project Syndicate, The New Grammar of Power[1]:
      We must learn a new grammar of power in a world that is made up more of the common good – or the common bad – than of self-interest or national interest.
  8. (British, archaic) A book describing these rules or principles; a textbook.
    a grammar of geography
  9. (UK) A grammar school.
    • 2012 January 11, Graeme Paton, “A green light for more grammars?”, in The Daily Telegraph:
  10. (cellular automata) A set of component patterns, along with the rules for connecting them, which can be combined to form more complex patterns such as large still lifes, oscillators, and spaceships.
    • 1991 April 4, Bill Gosper, “LIFELINE:in search of the newsletter”, in comp.theory.cell-automata[2] (Usenet):
      Hickerson has a computer program which found a spaceship with speed c/3. In fact a whole grammar of them.
    • 1992 August 27, David Bell, “Spaceships in Conway's Life (Part 2a)”, in comp.theory.cell-automata[3] (Usenet):
      Within a few hours of finding the first period 2 ship, Dean had discovered a grammar for constructing an infinite number of different short, wide, period 2 spaceships. A grammar is an "alphabet" of "components", along with rules for the possible sequences of connections between components. Components are simply the identifiable pieces of a ship which reappear over and over in different ships in different combinations.
    • 1994 January 21, Harold McIntosh, “de Bruijn diagrams”, in comp.theory.cell-automata[4] (Usenet):
      Dean's discovery included a much more plentiful family than just the light, medium, and heavy weight spaceships that have been known since the beginning, which he was able to organize into a series of tiles and a grammar for them.


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


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary: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[edit]

Further reading[edit]



grammar m (genitive singular [please provide], plural [please provide])

  1. grammar


Related terms[edit]


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.