present participle


Definition of present participle

: a participle that typically expresses present action in relation to the time expressed by the finite verb in its clause and that in English is formed with the suffix -ing and is used in the formation of the progressive tenses

Examples of present participle in a Sentence

The verbs “dancing” in “He was dancing” and “crying” in “The baby is crying” are present participles.

First Known Use of present participle

1864, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of present participle was in 1864

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Cite this Entry

“Present participle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for present participle

present participle


English Language Learners Definition of present participle

grammar : a verb form that ends in "-ing" and that is used with "be" to refer to action that is happening at the time of speaking or a time spoken of

present participle


Kids Definition of present participle

: the form of a verb that in English is formed with the suffix -ing and that expresses present action

More from Merriam-Webster on present participle

Spanish Central: Translation of present participle

Nglish: Translation of present participle for Spanish Speakers

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