Definition of gerund in English:



  • A form that is derived from a verb but that functions as a noun, in English ending in -ing, e.g., asking in do you mind my asking you?

    -ing form
    and → participle
    • ‘The writer describes one press conference: ‘During this 35-minute briefing the Secretary will use ‘kill’ nine times in various tenses and gerunds.’’
    • ‘He also advises that one should use the active instead of the passive voice and gerunds instead of noun constructions.’
    • ‘I once learned that you should put possessives before gerunds; that ‘rule’ is sometimes awkward and pointless, but maybe it has something going for it here.’
    • ‘First, a noun form of the verb, i.e. gerund or agentive noun, is combined with some other word to make a compound word.’
    • ‘‘Othering’, a favourite gerund in current academic-literary discussion, has yet to enter the dictionaries, but it shouldn't have long to wait.’


Early 16th century: from late Latin gerundium, from gerundum, variant of gerendum, the gerund of Latin gerere do.