An example of a gerund is the word "skiing" in the sentence "Skiing is something I like to do," since "skiing" is the thing you like doing and not the action of the sentence.
- in Latin, a verbal noun in the singular of all cases but the nominative, used to indicate continuing or generalized action (Ex.: probandi in onus probandi, “the burden of proving”)
- in other languages, any of various forms analogous to this; specif., an English verbal noun ending in -ing that has all the uses of the noun but retains certain syntactic characteristics of the verb, such as the ability to take an object or an adverbial modifier (Ex.: playing in “Playing golf is his only exercise”)
Origin of gerundLate Latin gerundium ; from Classical Latin gerundus, gerund, gerundive of gerere, to do, carry out
- In Latin, a noun derived from a verb and having all case forms except the nominative.
- In other languages, a verbal noun analogous to the Latin gerund, such as the English form ending in -ing when used as a noun, as in singing in We admired the choir's singing.
Origin of gerundLate Latin gerundium, from alteration (modeled on participium, participle) of Latin gerundum, variant of gerendum, neuter gerundive of gerere, to carry on.
- (grammar) A verbal form that functions as a verbal noun. (In English, a gerund has the same spelling as a present participle, but functions differently.)
- In the phrase ‘Walking is good exercise.’, walking is a gerund.
- (grammar) In some languages such as Italian or Russian, a verbal form similar to a present participle, but functioning as an adverb. These words are sometimes referred to as conjunctive participles.
- In the Russian 'Нельзя переходить улицу, читая газету.’ (One shouldn’t cross a street while reading a newspaper.), читая ‘while reading’ is a gerund.
From Latin gerundium, from gerundus (“which is to be carried out”), future passive participle (gerundive) of gerō (“carry, bear”).