ger·​und | \ ˈjer-ənd How to pronounce gerund (audio) , ˈje-rənd \

Definition of gerund

1 : a verbal noun in Latin that expresses generalized or uncompleted action
2 : any of several linguistic forms analogous to the Latin gerund in languages other than Latin especially : the English verbal noun ending in -ing that has the function of a substantive and at the same time shows the verbal features of tense, voice, and capacity to take adverbial qualifiers and to govern (see govern sense 4) objects

Examples of gerund in a Sentence

In the sentence “Learning can be fun,” “learning” is a gerund.
Recent Examples on the Web Nearly every other sentence contains pungent Anglo-Saxon nouns and gerunds. Dwight Garner, New York Times, "Two Lifetime Crooks Wait for a Missing Daughter, With Shades of Beckett," 16 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gerund.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of gerund

1513, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gerund

Late Latin gerundium, from Latin gerundus, gerundive of gerere to bear, carry on

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Cite this Entry

“Gerund.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
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English Language Learners Definition of gerund

grammar : an English noun formed from a verb by adding -ing

More from Merriam-Webster on gerund

Nglish: Translation of gerund for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gerund for Arabic Speakers

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