grammar

[gram-er]
noun
1.
the study of the way the sentences of a language are constructed; morphology and syntax.
2.
these features or constructions themselves: English grammar.
3.
an account of these features; a set of rules accounting for these constructions: a grammar of English.
4.
Generative Grammar. a device, as a body of rules, whose output is all of the sentences that are permissible in a given language, while excluding all those that are not permissible.
6.
knowledge or usage of the preferred or prescribed forms in speaking or writing: She said his grammar was terrible.
7.
the elements of any science, art, or subject.
8.
a book treating such elements.

Origin:
1325–75; Middle English gramery < Old French gramaire < Latin gramatica < Greek grammatikḕ (téchnē) grammatical (art); see -ar2

grammarless, adjective

grammar, grandma, grandmother.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
grammar (ˈɡræmə)
 
n
1.  the branch of linguistics that deals with syntax and morphology, sometimes also phonology and semantics
2.  the abstract system of rules in terms of which a person's mastery of his native language can be explained
3.  a systematic description of the grammatical facts of a language
4.  a book containing an account of the grammatical facts of a language or recommendations as to rules for the proper use of a language
5.  a.  the use of language with regard to its correctness or social propriety, esp in syntax: the teacher told him to watch his grammar
 b.  (as modifier): a grammar book
6.  the elementary principles of a science or art: the grammar of drawing
 
[C14: from Old French gramaire, from Latin grammatica, from Greek grammatikē (tekhnē) the grammatical (art), from grammatikos concerning letters, from gramma letter]
 
'grammarless
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

grammar
late 12c., gramarye, from O.Fr. grammaire "learning," especially Latin and philology, from L. grammatica, from Gk. grammatike tekhne "art of letters," with a sense of both philology and literature in the broadest sense, from gramma "letter," from stem of graphein "to draw or write." Restriction to "rules
of language" is a post-classical development, but as this type of study was until 16c. limited to Latin, M.E. gramarye also came to mean "learning in general, knowledge peculiar to the learned classes" (early 14c.), which included astrology and magic; hence the secondary meaning of "occult knowledge" (late 15c.), which evolved in Scottish into glamour (q.v.). A grammar school (late 14c.) was originally "a school in which the learned languages are grammatically taught" [Johnson, who also has grammaticaster "a mean verbal pedant"]. In U.S. (1860) the term was put to use in the graded system for "a school between primary and secondary, where English grammar is taught."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

grammar definition


The rules for standard use of words. A grammar is also a system for classifying and analyzing the elements of language.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

grammar definition

language
A formal definition of the syntactic structure (the syntax) of a language.
A grammar is normally represented as a set of production rules which specify the order of constituents and their sub-constituents in a sentence (a well-formed string in the language). Each rule has a left-hand side symbol naming a syntactic category (e.g. "noun-phrase" for a natural language grammar) and a right-hand side which is a sequence of zero or more symbols. Each symbol may be either a terminal symbol or a non-terminal symbol. A terminal symbol corresponds to one "lexeme" - a part of the sentence with no internal syntactic structure (e.g. an identifier or an operator in a computer language). A non-terminal symbol is the left-hand side of some rule.
One rule is normally designated as the top-level rule which gives the structure for a whole sentence.
A parser (a kind of recogniser) uses a grammar to parse a sentence, assigning a terminal syntactic category to each input token and a non-terminal category to each appropriate group of tokens, up to the level of the whole sentence. Parsing is usually preceded by lexical analysis. The opposite, generation, starts from the top-level rule and chooses one alternative production wherever there is a choice.
In computing, a formal grammar, e.g. in BNF, can be used to parse a linear input stream, such as the source code of a program, into a data structure that expresses the (or a) meaning of the input in a form that is easier for the computer to work with. A compiler compiler like yacc might be used to convert a grammar into code for the parser of a compiler. A grammar might also be used by a transducer, a translator or a syntax directed editor.
See also attribute grammar.
(2009-02-06)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
We need to know the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax of our language.
Humans are the only animals with true language, including grammar and syntax.
Also weird is that while borrowing from one language to another is common,
  borrowing grammar is not nearly as common.
Moreover, the grammar of language is fundamentally a way of fitting those
  dictionary words into a larger context.
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