-ing

1
  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 -ing

1
Middle English; Old English -ing, -ung

-ing

2
  1. a suffix forming the present participle of verbs (walking; thinking), such participles being often used as participial adjectives: warring factions.
Compare -ing1.

Origin of -ing

2
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/ 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.

-ing

3
  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 of -ing

3
Middle English, Old English -ing, cognate with Old Norse -ingr, -ungr, Gothic -ings
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for -ing

-ing

1
suffix forming nouns
  1. (from verbs) the action of, process of, result of, or something connected with the verbcoming; meeting; a wedding; winnings
  2. (from other nouns) something used in, consisting of, involving, etctubing; soldiering
  3. (from other parts of speech)an outing

Word Origin for -ing

Old English -ing, -ung

-ing

2
suffix
  1. forming the present participle of verbswalking; believing
  2. forming participial adjectivesa growing boy; a sinking ship
  3. forming adjectives not derived from verbsswashbuckling

Word Origin for -ing

Middle English -ing, -inde, from Old English -ende

-ing

3
suffix forming nouns
  1. a person or thing having a certain quality or being of a certain kindsweeting; whiting

Word Origin for -ing

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

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