[ pahr-tuh-sip-uhl, -suh-puhl ]
/ ˈpɑr təˌsɪp əl, -sə pəl /
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Definition of participle

noun Grammar.
an adjective or complement to certain auxiliaries that is regularly derived from the verb in many languages and refers to participation in the action or state of the verb; a verbal form used as an adjective. It does not specify person or number in English, but may have a subject or object, show tense, etc., as burning, in a burning candle, or devoted in his devoted friend.


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Origin of participle

1350–1400; Middle English <Middle French, variant of participe<Latin participium, derivative of particeps taking part, equivalent to parti- (stem of pars) part + -cep- (combining form of capere to take) + -s nominative singular ending

grammar notes for participle

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use participle in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for participle

/ (ˈpɑːtɪsɪpəl, pɑːˈtɪsɪpəl) /

a nonfinite form of verbs, in English and other languages, used adjectivally and in the formation of certain compound tensesSee also present participle, past participle

Derived forms of participle

participial (ˌpɑːtɪˈsɪpɪəl), adjective, nounparticipially, adverb

Word Origin for participle

C14: via Old French from Latin participium, from particeps partaker, from pars part + capere to take
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

Cultural definitions for participle

[ (pahr-tuh-sip-uhl) ]

notes for participle

A “dangling” participle is one that is not clearly connected to the word it modifies: “Standing at the corner, two children walked past me.” A better version of this example would be, “While I was standing at the corner, two children walked past me.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.