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. See Usage Note at fused participle.
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”).