AbstractMulticomponent Tree Adjoining Grammars (MCTAG) is a formalism that has been shown to be useful for many natural language applications. The definition of MCTAG however is problematic since it refers to the process of the derivation itself: a simultaneity constraint must be respected concerning the way the members of the elementary tree sets are added. Looking only at the result of a derivation (i.e., the derived tree and the derivation tree), this simultaneity is no longer visible and therefore cannot be checked. I.e., this way of characterizing MCTAG does not allow to abstract away from the concrete order of derivation. Therefore, in this paper, we propose an alternative definition of MCTAG that characterizes the trees in the tree language of an MCTAG via the properties of the derivation trees the MCTAG licences.