a form derived from a verb, used in English as an adjective to express participation in the action or state of the verb, or combined with an auxiliary verb to construct any of various tenses, as in aburningcandle, aknownfact,I amfreezing,She hasgone: a participle does not specify person or number, but may have a subject or object, show tense, etc.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use participle in a sentence
This is the termination of the present participle and verbal adjective derived from verbs in -a.Frdric Mistral | Charles Alfred Downer
Bessoun (in French, besson) means a twin, and the participle expresses the idea, clasped together like twins.Frdric Mistral | Charles Alfred Downer
"Nay, I wanna thinking-g o' that," Ned replied, strongly doubling the "g" that terminated the present participle.Mushroom Town | Oliver Onions
In this participle the termination -ing seems almost equivalent to that of the past participle: comp.Milton's Comus | John Milton
Trod (or trodden), past participle of tread: ‘to tread a measure’ is a common expression, meaning ‘to dance.’Milton's Comus | John Milton
British Dictionary definitions for participle
- participial (ˌpɑːtɪˈsɪpɪəl), adjective, noun
- participially, adverb
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
The present participle is formed by adding -ing to the infinitive; it indicates present action: “The girl is swimming”; “I am thinking.” (Compare gerund.)
The past participle usually ends in -ed; it indicates completed or past action: “The gas station has closed”; “The mayor had spoken.”
Participles may also function as adjectives: “Your mother is a charming person”; “This is a talking parrot”; “Spoken words cannot be revoked.”
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.