grammar

grammar early 14c., gramarye (late 12c. in surnames), from O.Fr. gramaire "learning," especially Latin and philology, "grammar, (magic) incantation, spells, mumbo-jumbo," "irregular semi-popular adoption" [OED] of L. grammatica, from Gk. grammatike tekhne "art of letters," with a sense of both philology and literature in the broadest sense, fem. adjective from gramma "letter," from stem of graphein "to draw or write" (see -GRAPHY (Cf. -graphy)). An O.E. word for it was stæfcræft.
Form grammar is from late 14c. 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 GLAMOR (Cf. glamor) (q.v.).
A grammar school (late 14c.) originally was "a school in which the learned languages are grammatically taught" [Johnson, who also has grammaticaster "a mean verbal pedant"]. In U.S. (1842) the term was put to use in the graded system for "a school between primary and secondary where English grammar is taught."

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Grammar — is the field of linguistics that covers the rules governing the use of any given natural language. It includes morphology and syntax, often complemented by phonetics, phonology, semantics, and pragmatics. Each language has its own distinct… …   Wikipedia

  • Grammar — Gram mar, n. [OE. gramere, OF. gramaire, F. grammaire Prob. fr. L. gramatica Gr ?, fem. of ? skilled in grammar, fr. ? letter. See {Gramme}, {Graphic}, and cf. {Grammatical}, {Gramarye}.] 1. The science which treats of the principles of language; …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • grammar — [gram′ər] n. [ME gramer < OFr gramaire < L grammatica ( ars, art) < Gr grammatikē ( technē, art), grammar, learning < gramma, something written (see GRAM1): in L & Gr a term for the whole apparatus of literary study: in the medieval… …   English World dictionary

  • grammar — ► NOUN 1) the whole system and structure of a language or of languages in general, usually taken as consisting of syntax and morphology. 2) knowledge and use of the rules or principles of grammar: bad grammar. 3) a book on grammar. 4) the basic… …   English terms dictionary

  • Grammar — Gram mar, v. i. To discourse according to the rules of grammar; to use grammar. [Obs.] Beau. & Fl. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • grammar — is the system by which words are used together to form meaningful utterances. It denotes both the system as it is found to exist in the use of a language (also called descriptive grammar) and the set of rules which form the basis of the standard… …   Modern English usage

  • grammar — [n] language rules ABCs*, accidence, alphabet, elements, fundaments, linguistics, morphology, principles, rudiments, sentence structure, stratification, structure, syntax, tagmemics; concepts 275,276,770 …   New thesaurus

  • grammar — grammarless, adj. /gram euhr/, n. 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… …   Universalium

  • Grammar —    1) Grammar as Analogous to a Scientific Theory    I think that the failure to offer a precise account of the notion grammar is not just a superficial defect in linguistic theory that can be remedied by adding one more definition. It seems to… …   Historical dictionary of quotations in cognitive science

  • grammar — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Mode of speaking and writing Nouns 1. grammar; accidence, syntax, analysis, synopsis, praxis, punctuation, syllabi[fi]cation; agreement. See speech, language, writing. 2. a. part of speech; participle;… …   English dictionary for students

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