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Webster 1913 Edition


Participle

Par′ti-ci-ple

,
Noun.
[F.
participe
, L.
participium
, fr.
particeps
sharing, participant;
pars
, gen.
partis
, a part +
capere
to take. See
Participate
.]
1.
(Gram.)
A part of speech partaking of the nature of both verb and adjective; a form of a verb, or verbal adjective, modifying a noun, but taking the adjuncts of the verb from which it is derived. In the sentences: a letter is
written
;
being
asleep he did not hear;
exhausted
by toil he will sleep soundly, –
written
,
being
, and
exhausted
are
participles
.
By a
participle
, [I understand] a verb in an adjectival aspect.
Earle.
Present participles, called also imperfect, or incomplete, participles, end in -ing. Past participles, called also perfect, or complete, participles, for the most part end in -ed, -d, -t, -en, or -n. A participle when used merely as an attribute of a noun, without reference to time, is called an adjective, or a participial adjective; as, a written constitution; a rolling stone; the exhausted army. The verbal noun in -ing has the form of the present participle. See
Verbal noun
, under
Verbal
,
Adj.
2.
Anything that partakes of the nature of different things.
[Obs.]
The
participles
or confines between plants and living creatures.
Bacon.

Webster 1828 Edition


Participle

P`ARTICIPLE

,
Noun.
[L. participium, from participo; pars, part, and capio,to take.]
1.
In grammar, a word so called because it partakes of the properties of a noun and of a verb; as having, making, in English; habens, faciens, in Latin. The English participles having, making, become nouns by prefixing the to them; as the having of property; the making of instruments. But all participles do not partake of the properties of a noun, as the passive participles for example, had, made.
Participles sometimes lose the properties of a verb and become adjectives, as willing, in the phrase, a willing heart; engaging, as engaging manners; accomplished, as an accomplished orator.
2.
Any thing that participates of different things. [Not used.]

Definition 2021


participle

participle

English

Noun

participle (plural participles)

  1. (grammar) A form of a verb that may function as an adjective or noun. English has two types of participles: the present participle and the past participle.

Usage notes

Participles can be combined with the auxiliary verbs have and be to form the perfect aspect, the progressive aspect, and the passive voice. The tense is always expressed through the auxiliary verb.

  • I have asked. (present tense, perfect aspect)
  • I am asking. (present tense, progressive aspect)
  • I am asked. (present tense, passive voice)

When not combined with have or be, participles are almost always adjectives and can form adjectival phrases called participial phrases. Nouns can occasionally be derived from these adjectives:

  • the following items
  • the following
  • the dying victims
  • the dying

In English, participles typically end in -ing, -ed or -en.

Derived terms

Translations