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Culture > Linguistics > Grammar

Now updated for CSW15. New words, if any, and new inflections of existing words, are shown in red.

abessive a grammatical case indicating absence or lack.
ablatival relating to the ABLATIVE case.
ablative (a case) indicating direction from or time when > ABLATIVES, ABLATIVELY.
ablaut vowel change in related words, esp. that in Indo-European, which survives in English in, e.g., sing, sang, sung, song.
absolutive a type of grammatical case.
accidence the science of inflections in grammar.
accusatival relating to the ACCUSATIVE.
accusative a case indicating the direct object of a verb.
actant a noun phrase functioning as the agent of the main verb of a sentence.
active expressing action > ACTIVELY; (noun) the active mood of a verb.
adessive (a case) indicating place where or proximity to. Cf. ABESSIVE.
adjective added, dependent > ADJECTIVELY; (noun) a word added to a noun to qualify it.
adnominal pertaining to an ADNOUN; adjectival; (noun) a word attached to a noun.
adnoun an adjective used as a noun.
adverb a word used to modify the meaning of a verb, adjective, or other adverb.
adverbial relating to an adverb > ADVERBIALLY; (noun) an adverbial phrase > ADVERBIALS.
agentive a grammatical case indicating the agent performing an action.
agrammatical not grammatical.
allative a grammatical case indicating movement towards. Cf. ELATIVE, ILLATIVE.
amphibology amphiboly a grammatically ambiguous phrase or sentence.
anacoluthia a non-sequential syntactic construction in which the latter part of a sentence does not grammatically fit the earlier.
anacoluthic relating to ANACOLUTHIA.
anacoluthon a sentence or construction lacking grammatical sequence > ANACOLUTHA or ANACOLUTHONS.
antepenult the antepenultimate (third from last) syllable or word.
antibarbarus a list of words and sayings to be avoided in the classical usage of a language > ANTIBARBARUSES.
antonym a word opposite in meaning to another.
antonymic antonymous like an ANTONYM.
antonymy the state of being an ANTONYM.
aorist (a tense) expressing simple past time with no continuance. [Gk. aoristos, indefinite].
aoristic indefinite; pertaining to the AORIST > AORISTICALLY.
apathaton (Shakesp.) = EPITHETON, an epithet.
apodosis the main clause in a conditional sentence > APODOSES. [Gk. apodosis, from apo, back, + didonai. to give].
apposition the position of a word parallel to another in syntactic relation.
appositive relating to APPOSITION; (noun) a clause in apposition.
aptote a noun that has no grammatical cases. Cf. MONOPTOTE, TRIPTOTE, TETRAPTOTE.
aptotic uninflected; indeclinable.
asemantic not semantic.
assertoric stating a fact, as opposed to expressing an evaluative judgment.
asyndetic not connected by conjunctions: I came, I saw, I conquered.
asyntactic loosely put together, irregular, ungrammatical.
atelic pertaining to a type of verb form.
athematic without a thematic vowel.
bahuvrihi (Sanskrit) a class of compound words where the first element describes the second but cannot substitute for it, e.g. turncoat.
biliteral consisting of two letters; as, a biliteral root of a Sanskrit verb.
cacology bad choice of words or faulty pronunciation.
catachresis the use of a wrong word for the context; the strained use of a word or phrase.
causal relating to cause > CAUSALLY; (noun) a word expressing a cause or reason > CAUSALS.
causative relating to causation > CAUSATIVELY; (noun) a causative agency; a causative word > CAUSATIVES.
clausal relating to a clause.
clause a distinct part of a composition.
clausula a short clause ending a period in Latin prose > CLAUSULAE.
clausular consisting of, or having, clauses.
cohyponym a word which is one of multiple hyponyms of another word.
comitative expressing accompaniment; (noun) a comitative case.
conjugable that can be conjugated.
conjugate joined, connected > CONJUGATELY; (verb) to give the various inflections or parts of (a verb).
conjugateness the state of being CONJUGATE.
construe to analyse the grammatical construction of (a sentence).
construer one who construes.
copula a word which unites the subject and predicate > COPULAE or COPULAS.
copular relating to a COPULA.
copulative a CONJUNCTION that indicates combination e.g. 'and'.
datival relating to a DATIVE.
dative a grammatical case, indicating the indirect object of a verb > DATIVES, DATIVELY.
deictic relating to the time and place of utterance > DEICTICS, DEICTICALLY.
deixis the use of words relating to the time and place of utterance > DEIXES or DEIXISES.
denominal derived from a NOUN.
denotive serving to denote.
deponent a verb having a passive form but active meaning.
desinence an ending or termination, especially the terminal inflection of a word.
desinent desinential terminal, especially of the terminal inflection of a word.
deverbal (a word) deriving from a verb.
diaeresis diereses the separation or resolution of one syllable into two; cf. SYNAERESIS > DIAERESES, DIERESES. [Gk. diairesis separation]. Also DIERESIS.
diaeretic pertaining to DIAERESIS, the separation or resolution of one syllable into two.
dieretic of or like DIERESIS, the separation of two vowels into two syllables.
disyllable a word with two syllables,
disyllabic having two syllables.
durative (a tense) denoting continuing action.
dvandva (Sanskrit) a compound word in which neither element is subordinated to the other, e.g. tragicomedy.
elative of a grammatical case, indicating movement away from. Cf. ILLATIVE, ALLATIVE.
emic a type of linguistic analysis > EMICS.
enallage the exchange of one grammatical case for another, as of singular for plural, present for past tense, etc.
enclisis the state of being an ENCLITIC > ENCLISES.
enclitic dependent, especially of a word or particle attached to the preceding word: in "Give 'em the works" the particle em has no independent accent and forms an accentual and graphemic unit with "give".
endeictic showing, exhibiting or demonstrating. [Gr. endeiktikos].
endeixis an indication > ENDEIXES or ENDEIXISES. [Gk. endeiktikos].
epithesis the addition of one or more letters to a word > EPITHESES.
epithet an ADJECTIVE or adjectival phrase; (verb) to apply an epithet to > EPITHETS, EPITHETING, EPITHETED.
epitheton an EPITHET > EPITHETONS.
equative in grammar, denoting identity or equivalence.
equivoke equivoque an ambiguous term; a word susceptible of different significations.
ergative a grammatical case found in certain languages > ERGATIVES.
ergativity the state of being ERGATIVE, a grammatical case found in certain languages.
essive a case in Finnish and certain other languages expressing a continuous state of being.
etic a type of linguistic analysis > ETICS.
etymic relating to the ETYMON, the original form of a word, as, an etymic word.
etymon an earlier word form; a morpheme from which derivatives are formed > ETYMA or ETYMONS.
exocentric not fulfilling the grammatical role of any of its constituents; as in until last Easter, where the constituents are prepositional, adjectival, and nominal, while the whole construction is adverbial.
extremal a clause in a recursive definition.
factive designating or pertaining to a verb taking an assumed fact as object (e.g. English know, regret, resent).
finite limited > FINITELY; (noun) a finite verb > FINITES.
genitival relating to the GENITIVE case > GENITIVALLY.
genitive (a grammatical case) indicating possession, origin or relation > GENITIVES, GENITIVELY.
gerund a verbal form such as 'cooking' that functions as a noun > GERUNDS.
gerundial pertaining to, or resembling, a GERUND; as, a gerundial use.
gerundive in Latin, the verbal adjective formed from the gerund stem and having the sense 'that can or must be done' > GERUNDIVES, GERUNDIVELY.
glosseme an indivisible unit in a language.
grammar the science which treats of the principles of language; the study of forms of speech, and their relations to one another.
grammatic grammatical belonging to, or according to the rules of, grammar > GRAMMATICALLY.
grammaticalness the state of being GRAMMATICAL.
heteroclite deviating from the ordinary rule; eccentric; (in grammar) irregularly inflected; (noun) an irregularly inflected word.
heteroclitic irregularly inflected.
heteronym a word having same spelling but different sound and meaning e.g. lead/lead.
holophrase a single word expressing sentence or phrase.
holophrastic expressing a sentence in one word, e.g. "Go"; expressing complex ideas in a single word, as in some Eskimo languages. [Gk. holo (whole) + Greek phrastikos, from phrazein (to speak)].
homoeoteleuton the use of words with similar endings in close proximity.
homograph one of two or more words that have the same spelling but differ in origin, meaning, and sometimes pronunciation e.g. bow (in hair) and bow (of a ship).
homonym a word having the same sound as another but a different meaning e.g. noun 'quail' and verb 'quail'.
homonymic homonymous like a HOMONYM.
homonymy the state of being a HOMONYM.
homophone a word that sounds the same as another but is spelt differently e.g. 'to', 'too' and 'two'.
hypercorrect refers to a linguistic construction or pronunciation produced by mistaken analogy with standard usage out of a desire to be correct, such as 'open widely' or 'on behalf of my wife and I'.
hypercorrection a grammatical, usage or pronuciation mistake made by 'correcting' something that's right to begin with.
hypernym a word representing a class of words or things, e.g. DOG.
hypernymy the state of being a HYPERNYM.
hyponym a term which is a member of a larger class e.g. spaniel of dog.
hyponymy the state of being a HYPONYM.
hypotactic relating to HYPOTAXIS, a dependent or subordinate relationship of clauses with conjunctions.
hypotaxis a dependent or subordinate relationship of clauses with conjunctions > HYPOTAXES.
illative (a grammatical case) indicating movement into or toward > ILLATIVES, ILLATIVELY. Cf. ELATIVE, ALLATIVE.
imparisyllabic having different number of syllables in different cases.
imperative expressive of command, advice or request > IMPERATIVELY; (noun) a verb in the imperative mood > IMPERATIVES.
imperfect not perfect > IMPERFECTLY; (noun) a verb tense expressing ongoing action in the past > IMPERFECTS.
imperfective expressing action as incomplete or without reference to completion or as reiterated > IMPERFECTIVELY; (noun) an imperfective verb > IMPERFECTIVES.
inceptive marking the beginning or formation > INCEPTIVELY; (noun) an inceptive verb > INCEPTIVES.
inchoative expressing or pertaining to a beginning; inceptive; as, an inchoative verb > INCHOATIVELY.
inessive (a grammatical case) indicating location within) > INESSIVES.
inferencing the practice of inferring the meaning of an unfamiliar word or expression from the meaning of familiar words occurring with it in a context together with one's knowledge of or beliefs about the context.
infinitive expressing the verbal idea without reference to person, number or time > INFINITIVELY; (noun) the infinitive mood; a verb in the infinitive mood > INFINITIVES.
inflection inflexion a change in the form of a word, usually modification or affixation, signalling change in such grammatical functions as tense, voice, mood, person.
intensive making intense > INTENSIVELY; (noun) an intensifier > INTENSIVES.
intercalation an insertion or interposing, as of a word between other words in a sentence.
intercalative relating to INTERCALATION, an insertion or interposing, as of a word between other words in a sentence.
jussive (a mood of a verb) expressing a command > JUSSIVES.
lapsus a slip e.g. of the tongue > LAPSUS.
lexeme the fundamental unit of the lexicon of a language e.g. ind, found, and finding are members of the English lexeme find.
lexemic of or like a LEXEME, one of the vocabulary items of a language.
loanshift the adaptation of a word from one language to another.
loanword a word borrowed from another language.
locative (a grammatical case) signifying place where > LOCATIVES.
locution a form of expression, a phrase.
meronym a word whose relation to another is that of a part to the whole, e.g. whisker to cat.
meronymy the state of being a MERONYM, a word whose relation to another is that of a part to the whole.
modal related to mood > MODALLY; (noun) a modal auxiliary > MODALS.
modality the property of a verb or verbal form that is represented or distinguished by its mood.
moneme morpheme a word or part of a word that contains no smaller unit of meaning.
monosemic having only a single meaning.
monoptote a noun that has one grammatical case only > MONOPTOTES. Cf. TRIPTOTE, TETRAPTOTE.
monosemy the fact of having only one meaning.
monosyllable a word with one syllable.
monosyllabic having only one syllable.
morpheme see MONEME.
morphemic of or like a MORPHEME.
morphemics the study of MORPHEMES.
morphology the study of the forms of words.
morphophonemics linguistic structure in terms of the phonological patterning of MORPHEMES.
mumpsimus an erroneous word or spelling that, through long usage, has become absorbed into the language; an incorrect manuscript reading blindly adhered to by some scholar > MUMPSIMUSES.
mutative mutatory expressing a change of place or state.
nominal only in name > NOMINALLY; (noun) a noun or phrase etc. standing as a noun > NOMINALS.
nonpast a verb form that lacks an inflection for a past tense > NONPASTS.
nonstative denoting a verb describing an action rather than a state, as for example throw or thank as opposed to know or hate; (noun) a nonstative verb.
noun a word used to denote the name of something.
nounal of or pertaining to a noun > NOUNALLY.
nounless without nouns.
nouny having many nouns; having the nature of a noun > NOUNIER, NOUNIEST.
nunnation the addition of a final n in the declension of nouns.
optative a grammatical mood expressing a desire or wish.
orthographical relating to ORTHOGRAPHY, the part of language study that deals with letters and spelling.
orthography a part of language study that deals with letters and spelling.
parasynthesis the derivation of words using hyphenated compounds.
paronym a word from the same root or having the same sound as another.
paronymic of or like a PARONYM.
paronymous having the same derivation; allied radically; conjugate; -- said of certain words, as man, mankind, manhood, etc.
paronymy the quality of being PARONYMOUS; also, the use of paronymous words.
parsable that can be parsed.
parse to describe a word fully in terms of classification.
partitive parting, distributing > PARTITIVELY; (noun) a word indicating a part of a larger whole > PARTITIVES.
passive not active > PASSIVELY; (noun) the passive mood of a verb > PASSIVES.
pastless lacking a past.
paucal a grammatical number in some languages representing a few.
pejoration degeneration of a word or term e.g. "hector" has degenerated from "hero" to scourge.
penult penultima the last but one syllable.
perfective (of a verb aspect) denoting completed action > PERFECTIVELY.
perissosyllabic having an additional syllable.
phatic relating to a communication meant to generate an atmosphere of social relationship rather than to convey some information > PHATICALLY.
phrasal of the nature of a phrase; consisting of a phrase; as, a phrasal adverb > PHRASALLY.
pluperfect of a tense, signifying completion of action before a certain point in past time.
plural more than one > PLURALLY; (noun) a word that expresses more than one.
polyseme polysemant a word with many meanings.
polysemic polysemous relating to a POLYSEME, a word with many meanings.
polysemy the state of having many meanings.
polysynthetic of languages, where whole phrases are combined into one word.
postbase following a base word.
postfix a letter, syllable, or word, added to the end of another word; a suffix; (verb) to suffix.
postpositive of an adjective, placed after the word it modifies e.g. attornery general, Scrabble player manque.
predicator the part of a sentence or clause containing the verbal group.
prefix to add as a prefix (a form affixed to the beginning of a root word).
prefixal relating to a PREFIX > PREFIXALLY.
prelexical denoting or applicable at a stage in the formation of a sentence at which words and phrases have not yet replaced all of the underlying grammatical and semantic material of that sentence in the speaker's mind.
prenominal placed before a noun, esp. (of an adjective or sense of an adjective) used only before a noun.
preterit preterite the grammatical tense signifying past time or a completed action.
preteriteness the state of being PRETERITE.
preteritive used only in the preterite.
preverb a particle or prefix which precedes a verb.
privative indicating absence, deprivation or negation > PRIVATIVELY; (noun) a privative attribute, quality, proposition, or particle > PRIVATIVES.
proclitic a word transferring its stress to the following word. Cf. ENCLITIC.
prolative esp. of an INFINITIVE > serving to continue or complete a predication.
pronoun a word that may be used in place of a noun.
prosthetic of or pertaining to prosthesis; prefixed, as a letter or letters to a word.
protasis the first or introductory clause in a sentence; spec. the clause expressing the condition in a conditional sentence > PROTASES. Cf. APODOSIS.
provection the transferring of a letter from the end of one word to the beginning of the next, eg a newt from an ewt.
rankshift to shift or be shifted from one linguistic rank to another.
rection syntactical government, i.e. the influence of one word over another in determining the case of a noun, the mood of a verb, etc > RECTIONS.
reflexive indicating that the action turns back upon the subject; relating to a reflex > REFLEXIVELY; (noun) a reflexive pronoun or verb > REFLEXIVES.
relatival relative.
retronym a word coined for an existing thing to distinguish it from a new thing.
rhematic of words or verbs; forming a word or words. [Gk. rhema, word].
rheme the constituent of a sentence that adds the most new information.
sandhi modification of the sound of a word or affix caused by the context in which it is uttered.
semanteme an irreducible linguistic unit of meaning.
semantic of or relating to meaning > SEMANTICALLY.
sememe the smallest unanalysable unit of linguistic meaning (e.g. a word or affix).
sememic pertaining to a SEMEME or meaning of a linguistic unit.
semiology semeiology the study of signs and symbols ((including but not confined to words).
semiotics semeiotics the study of signs and symbols (including but not confined to words)
singular not plural; strange > SINGULARLY; (noun) a singular word or form > SINGULARS.
solecise solecize to commit a SOLECISM.
solecism a nonstandard usage or grammatical construction; a violation of etiquette.
solecist one who commits a SOLECISM.
solecize see SOLECISE.
sprachgefuhl an intuitive sense of what is linguistically appropriate > SPRACHGEFUHLS.
statal of a passive verbal form > expressing a state or condition rather than an action.
stative a verb indicating a state rather than an action.
subclause a part of a CLAUSE.
subordinative containing a subordinate clause or clauses.
suffix to add as a suffix (a form affixed to the end of a root word).
suffixal relating to a SUFFIX.
sumpsimus a correct expression that replaces a popular but wrong one > SUMPSIMUSES. Cf. MUMPSIMUS.
supine lying on the back, passive > SUPINELY; (noun) a Latin verbal noun > SUPINES.
svarabhakti development of a vowel between consonants.
syndetic connected, esp. by conjunctions.
syndeton a type of grammatical construction.
synesis a construction in which a form differs in number but agrees in meaning with the word governing it, e. g. If anyone arrives, tell them to wait > SYNESES or SYNESISES.
synonym a word having the same meaning as another.
synonymatic of, consisting of or relating to synonyms.
synonyme a synonym.
synonymic synonymical like a SYNONYM.
synonymise synonymize to make synonymous.
synonymist a student of synonyms.
synonymous having the character of a synonym > SYNONYMOUSLY.
synonymousness the state of being synonymous.
synonymy the state of being synonymous.
syntactic relating to SYNTAX.
syntactics the branch of semiotics that deals with the formal properties of signs and symbols.
syntagm a syntactic unit comprising one or more (esp. linguistic) signs or elements.
syntagma a syntactic unit comprising one or more (esp. linguistic) signs or elements > SYNTAGMAS or SYNTAGMATA.
syntagmic relating to a SYNTAGMA.
syntax grammatical structure in sentences.
tagmeme any of the positions in the structure of a sentence into which a certain class of grammatical items can fit.
tagmemic relating to TAGMEMES.
tagmemics the analysis of the grammar of a language based on the arrangement of spoken elements.
tatpurusha (Sanskrit) a class of compound words in which the first element modifies the second by standing to it in various types of relation e.g. goatskin, fieldmouse.
taxeme any element of language that can affect the meaning of an utterance.
taxemic relating to a TAXEME, a unit of grammatical relationship.
tenseless without tenses, e.g. a language.
tetraptote a noun that has four grammatical cases only. Cf. APTOTE, MONOPTOTE, TRIPTOTE.
tmesis the separation of the parts of a word by insertion of another word > TMESES.
transitive (a verb) taking a direct object > TRANSITIVES.
transitiveness the state of being TRANSITIVE.
trilieral (a word) consisting of three letters > TRILITERALS.
triptote a noun that has three grammatical cases only. Cf. APTOTE, MONOPTOTE, TETRAPTOTE.
trisyllable a word with three syllables.
tuptowing present participle of TYPTO, to work at Greek conjugation.
typto to work at Greek grammar (literally to conjugate the Greek verb typto, I strike) > TYPTOS, TUPTOWING, TYPTOED.
ultima the last syllable of a word.
unmeaning having no meaning or signification; as, unmeaning words > UNMEANINGLY.
verb a word used to express an act, occurrence, or mode of being.
verbid the non-finite part of a verb.
verbify to convert into a verb.
verbing the use of nouns as verbs.
verbless without a verb.
vocative a grammatical case indicating calling or personal address > VOCATIVES, VOCATIVELY.
volitive a verb expresing desire.