principal parts

plural noun

: a series of verb forms from which all the other forms of a verb can be derived including in English the infinitive, the past tense, and the present and past participles

Examples of principal parts in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One of the principal parts is bringing kidnapped children home. Liz Friden, Fox News, 27 Oct. 2023 Others also playing principal parts in the show include Paddy Considine as King Viserys, Matt Smith as Prince Daemon, and Emily Carey and Olivia Cooke as the younger and older versions of Alicent Hightower. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 21 Aug. 2022 There are three principal parts of this logistical acrobatics; tech, shipping, and warehousing. Cassell Ferere, Forbes, 26 May 2022 Biden also has made ending Trump’s presidency after one term a principal part of his campaign message, and the new poll underscores the degree to which he is seen — and by a wide margin — as the Democrat best positioned to do that. Scott Clement,, 8 Sep. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'principal parts.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1714, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of principal parts was in 1714

Dictionary Entries Near principal parts

Cite this Entry

“Principal parts.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

principal parts

noun plural
: the infinitive, the past tense, and the past and present participles of an English verb
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