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[sin-tak-tik] /sɪnˈtæk tɪk/
of or relating to syntax: syntactic errors in English;
the syntactic rules for computer source code.
consisting of or noting morphemes that are combined in the same order as they would be if they were separate words in a corresponding construction:
The word blackberry, which consists of an adjective followed by a noun, is a syntactic compound.
Also, syntactical.
Origin of syntactic
1570-80; < New Latin syntacticus < Greek syntaktikós, equivalent to syntakt(ós) ordered, arranged together, verbid of syntássein to arrange together (syn- syn- + tag-, base of tássein to arrange + -tos adj. suffix) + -ikos -ic; see tactic
Related forms
syntactically, adverb
nonsyntactic, adjective
nonsyntactical, adjective
nonsyntactically, adverb
unsyntactic, adjective
unsyntactical, adjective
unsyntactically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for syntactical
Historical Examples
  • The reasons for syntactical usages are given, instead of mere statements that such usages exist.

    A Complete Grammar of Esperanto Ivy Kellerman Reed
  • "Parole in libert," words free from syntactical shackles are the words with which we shall fight the battle of the future.

    Idling in Italy Joseph Collins
  • The instrumental, locative and dative are mixed in one case, partly for phonetic, partly for syntactical reasons.

  • The cause of this variation in the force of the two beats is to be sought in the laws of the syntactical accent.

  • Less generally, the rhetorical or syntactical accent in the same way takes precedence of the metrical.

    English Verse Raymond MacDonald Alden, Ph.D.
  • It coincides less closely than the cesura with syntactical and rhetorical pauses.

    English Verse Raymond MacDonald Alden, Ph.D.
  • As is often true of cant, we have here simply a syntactical arrangement of words signifying—nothing.

    The Verbalist Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)
British Dictionary definitions for syntactical


Also synˈtactical. relating to or determined by syntax
(logic, linguistics) describable wholly with respect to the grammatical structure of an expression or the rules of well-formedness of a formal system
Derived Forms
syntactically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for syntactical

1570s, from Modern Latin syntacticus, from syntaxis (see syntax). Related: Syntactically.



1807, from Modern Latin syntacticus, from Greek syntaktikos, from syntassein (see syntax).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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