\ also ēŋ; in some dialects & in other dialects informally in, ən also ēn; after certain consonants ᵊn, ᵊm, ᵊŋ \

Definition of -ing

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : action or process running sleeping : instance of an action or process a meeting
2a : product or result of an action or process an engraving often in plural earnings
b : something used in an action or process a bed covering the lining of a coat
3 : action or process connected with (a specified thing) boating
4 : something connected with, consisting of, or used in making (a specified thing) scaffolding shirting
5 : something related to (a specified concept) offing

Definition of -ing (Entry 2 of 3)

: one of a (specified) kind sweeting

-ing

verb suffix or adjective suffix

Definition of -ing (Entry 3 of 3)

used to form the present participle sailing and sometimes to form an adjective resembling a present participle but not derived from a verb swashbuckling

How do you pronounce -ing?: Usage Guide

Verb suffix or adjective suffix

Though the pronunciation of -ing with the consonant \n\, misleadingly referred to as "dropping the g," is often deprecated, this pronunciation is frequently heard. It is not known for certain why the Middle English present participle ending -ende was replaced by -ing. Analogy with the earlier noun suffix -ing probably had something to do with it. In early Modern English, present participles were regularly formed with -ing pronounced \iŋg\ (as can still be heard in a few dialects) and later \iŋ\. Evidence also shows that some speakers used \in\ and by the 18th century this pronunciation became widespread. Though teachers (with some success) campaigned against it, \in\ remained a feature of the speech of many of the best speakers in Britain and the U.S. well into the 20th century. It has by now lost its respectability, at least when attention is drawn to it, but throughout the U.S. it persists largely unnoticed, and in some dialects it predominates over \iŋ\.

History and Etymology for -ing

Noun suffix (1)

Middle English, from Old English -ung, -ing, suffix forming nouns from verbs; akin to Old High German -ung, suffix forming nouns from verbs

Noun suffix (2)

Middle English, from Old English -ing, -ung; akin to Old High German -ing one of a (specified) kind

Verb suffix or adjective suffix

Middle English, probably from -ing entry 1

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Dictionary Entries Near -ing

in futuro

-ing

inga

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Statistics for -ing

Cite this Entry

“-ing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/-ing. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for -ing

-ing

noun suffix
\ \

Kids Definition of -ing

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : action or process meeting
2 : product or result of an action or process engraving earnings
3 : something used in or connected with making or doing roofing

-ing

verb suffix or adjective suffix

Kids Definition of -ing (Entry 2 of 2)

used to form the present participle sailing and sometimes to form adjectives that do not come from a verb hulking

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