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syntax

[sin-taks] /ˈsɪn tæks/
noun
1.
Linguistics.
  1. the study of the rules for the formation of grammatical sentences in a language.
  2. the study of the patterns of formation of sentences and phrases from words.
  3. the rules or patterns so studied:
    English syntax.
  4. a presentation of these:
    a syntax of English.
  5. an instance of these:
    the syntax of a sentence.
2.
Logic.
  1. that branch of modern logic that studies the various kinds of signs that occur in a system and the possible arrangements of those signs, complete abstraction being made of the meaning of the signs.
  2. the outcome of such a study when directed upon a specified language.
3.
a system or orderly arrangement.
4.
Computers. the grammatical rules and structural patterns governing the ordered use of appropriate words and symbols for issuing commands, writing code, etc., in a particular software application or programming language.
Origin
1565-1575
1565-75; short for earlier syntaxis < Late Latin < Greek sýntaxis an arranging in order, equivalent to syntag- (see syntactic) + -sis -sis
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for syntax
  • Consider your answers carefully, and write in complete sentences with proper grammar, syntax and punctuation.
  • All his memories had vanished, and his syntax seemed stuck in the present tense.
  • The words themselves are mostly simple words, the syntax is natural, the language austere rather than adorned.
  • But they flowed, syntax perfect, no hesitation between sentences.
  • We might put this point by saying that the computer has a syntax but no semantics.
  • His involved syntax has a relaxed elegance, as if he had easy control over the direction and agreement of his thoughts.
British Dictionary definitions for syntax

syntax

/ˈsɪntæks/
noun
1.
the branch of linguistics that deals with the grammatical arrangement of words and morphemes in the sentences of a language or of languages in general
2.
the totality of facts about the grammatical arrangement of words in a language
3.
a systematic statement of the rules governing the grammatical arrangement of words and morphemes in a language
4.
(logic) a systematic statement of the rules governing the properly formed formulas of a logical system
5.
any orderly arrangement or system
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin syntaxis, from Greek suntaxis, from suntassein to put in order, from syn- + tassein to arrange
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 syntax
n.

c.1600, from French syntaxe, from Late Latin syntaxis, from Greek syntaxis "a putting together or in order, arrangement, syntax," from stem of syntassein "put in order," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + tassein "arrange" (see tactics).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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syntax in Culture

syntax definition


The sequence in which words are put together to form sentences. In English, the usual sequence is subject, verb, and object.

Note: Syntactic languages, such as English, use word order to indicate word relationships. Inflected languages (see inflection), such as Greek and Latin, use word endings and other inflections to indicate relationships.
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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syntax in Technology

language
The structure of valid strings in a given language, as described by a grammar. For example, the syntax of a binary number could be expressed as
binary_number = bit [ binary_number ]
bit = "0" | "1"
meaning that a binary number is a bit optionally followed by a binary number and a bit is a literal zero or one digit.
The meaning of the language is given by its semantics.
See also abstract syntax, concrete syntax.
(1994-10-31)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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