Definition of grammar school in English:

grammar school


  • 1(in the UK) a state secondary school to which pupils are admitted on the basis of ability. Since 1965 most have been absorbed into the comprehensive school system.

    • ‘It was in this in agricultural market town that Sydney had been appointed as headmaster of the grammar school, and this was the town in which Mary spent the next ten years of her life.’
    • ‘Two-thirds of grammar school pupils in the early 1950s were working class.’
    • ‘Now aged 70, Prof Meadow was educated at a grammar school in Wigan and studied at Oxford University.’
    • ‘In 1998, the government made it possible for parents to vote on the future of the selective grammar school system.’
    • ‘The divide between academic and vocational education could be formalised in a way not seen in Britain since the grammar school and secondary modern divide.’
    • ‘Schools in Trafford, which continues to be the only authority in the region to operate a grammar school system, have shown the greatest leap in exam results.’
    • ‘After attending the local grammar school he won a scholarship to Jesus College Oxford.’
    • ‘I went to grammar school where all 600 pupils had to learn the recorder in their first year, the music master believing that there was a bit of music in everyone.’
    • ‘Because grammar school pupils had already reached a high level of attainment by the age of 14, comprehensive schools had more scope to ‘add value’ in the run-up to GCSEs.’
    • ‘I went to a modest-sized grammar school with a sixth form rather than a huge, impersonal comprehensive.’
    • ‘After passing the 11-plus he became the last of the grammar school intake to the former Boys High School before comprehensive education.’
    • ‘Commonweal was a grammar school then, built to accommodate 410 pupils and children had to pass the 11-plus exam to be accepted for a place.’
    • ‘She went to a state primary school then grammar school, before going off to London to study history.’
    • ‘He had been a bright pupil, supported by his mother and encouraged by the more enlightened teachers in his grammar school.’
    • ‘When Jean started at the school it was just changing from a grammar school to a comprehensive, and there were several years before it was totally comprehensive.’
    • ‘Their 13-year-old son attends a grammar school and their daughter a primary school.’
    • ‘He went through grammar school education, but admits, ‘I wasn't the best student!’’
    • ‘Northern Ireland still uses the selective grammar school system that was largely replaced by comprehensive education in Britain in the 1970s.’
    • ‘Surely it's obvious that a comprehensive whose pupils only do averagely well at age fourteen have a much better chance to get their pupils to improve than a grammar school where the pupils were already gaining excellent grades?’
    • ‘She was a geography teacher at the ladies grammar school at Bridlington.’
    1. 1.1historical A school founded in or before the 16th century for teaching Latin, later becoming a secondary school teaching academic subjects.
      • ‘During the Middle Ages, the grammar school provided education for poor scholars intended for the church and for the sons of noblemen.’
      • ‘Latin was taught in grammar school so that each new generation could study our shared history through the written word.’
      • ‘As early as 1496, ‘freeholders of substance’ were obliged by law to send their sons to school from age eight and every town of any consequence had a grammar school teaching Latin.’
  • 2US

    another term for elementary school
    • ‘There's a grammar school, a high school, and a college.’


grammar school