Meaning of syntax

syn•tax

Pronunciation: (sin'taks), [key]
— n.
  1. English syntax.
    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.
    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.
  2. a system or orderly arrangement.
  3. 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.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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