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-ing1

1.
a suffix of nouns formed from verbs, expressing the action of the verb or its result, product, material, etc. (the art of building; a new building; cotton wadding). It is also used to form nouns from words other than verbs (offing; shirting). Verbal nouns ending in -ing are often used attributively (the printing trade) and in forming compounds (drinking song). In some compounds (sewing machine), the first element might reasonably be regarded as the participial adjective, -ing2, the compound thus meaning “a machine that sews,” but it is commonly taken as a verbal noun, the compound being explained as “a machine for sewing.”.
Compare -ing2 .
Origin of -ing1
Middle English; Old English -ing, -ung

-ing2

1.
a suffix forming the present participle of verbs (walking; thinking), such participles being often used as participial adjectives: warring factions.
Compare -ing1 .
Origin
Middle English -ing, -inge; the variant -in (usually represented in spelling as -inʾ) continues Middle English -inde, -ende, Old English -ende
Pronunciation note
The common suffix -ing2 can be pronounced in modern English as either
[‐ing] /‐ɪŋ/ (Show IPA)
or
[‐in] /‐ɪn/
with either the velar nasal consonant
[ng] /ŋ/
symbolized in IPA as [ŋ], or the alveolar nasal consonant
[n] /n/
symbolized in IPA as [n]. The
[‐in] /‐ɪn/
pronunciation therefore reflects the use of one nasal as against another and not, as is popularly supposed, “dropping the g, ” since no actual g -sound is involved.
Many speakers use both pronunciations, depending on the speed of utterance and the relative formality of the occasion, with
[‐ing] /‐ɪŋ/
considered the more formal variant. For some educated speakers, especially in the southern United States and Britain,
[‐in] /‐ɪn/
is in fact the more common pronunciation, while for other educated speakers,
[‐ing] /‐ɪŋ/
is common in virtually all circumstances. In response to correction from perceived authorities, many American speakers who would ordinarily use
[‐in] /‐ɪn/
at least some of the time make a conscious effort to say
[‐ing] /‐ɪŋ/
even in informal circumstances.

-ing3

1.
a native English suffix meaning “one belonging to,” “of the kind of,” “one descended from,” and sometimes having a diminutive force, formerly used in the formation of nouns: farthing; shilling; bunting; gelding; whiting.
Compare -ling1 .
Origin
Middle English, Old English -ing, cognate with Old Norse -ingr, -ungr, Gothic -ings
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for -ing

-ing1

suffix
1.
(from verbs) the action of, process of, result of, or something connected with the verb: coming, meeting, a wedding, winnings
2.
(from other nouns) something used in, consisting of, involving, etc: tubing, soldiering
3.
(from other parts of speech): an outing
Word Origin
Old English -ing, -ung

-ing2

suffix
1.
forming the present participle of verbs: walking, believing
2.
forming participial adjectives: a growing boy, a sinking ship
3.
forming adjectives not derived from verbs: swashbuckling
Word Origin
Middle English -ing, -inde, from Old English -ende

-ing3

suffix
1.
a person or thing having a certain quality or being of a certain kind: sweeting, whiting
Word Origin
Old English -ing; related to Old Norse -ingr
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for -ing
1

suffix attached to verbs to mean their action, result, product, material, etc., from Old English -ing, -ung, from Proto-Germanic *unga (cf. Old Norse -ing, Dutch -ing, German -ung). Originally used to form nouns from verbs and to denote completed or habitual action. Its use has been greatly expanded in Middle and Modern English.

2

suffix used form the present participle of verbs, from Old English -ende (cf. German -end, Gothic -and, Sanskrit -ant, Greek -on, Latin -ans). It evolved into -ing in 13c.-14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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