[pahr-tuh-sip-uhl, -suh-puhl]
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.

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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To participles
World English Dictionary
participle (ˈpɑːtɪsɪpəl, pɑːˈtɪsɪpəl)
present participle See also past participle a nonfinite form of verbs, in English and other languages, used adjectivally and in the formation of certain compound tenses
[C14: via Old French from Latin participium, from particeps partaker, from parspart + capere to take]
adj, —n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1388, "a noun-adjective," from O.Fr. participle, var. of participe, from L. participium, lit. "a sharing, partaking," from particeps "partaker" (see participation). In grammatical sense, the L. translates Gk. metokhe "sharer, partaker," and the notion is of a word
"partaking" of the nature of both a noun and an adjective.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
participle [(pahr-tuh-sip-uhl)]

The verb form that combines with an auxiliary verb to indicate certain tenses.

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.”

Note: 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 American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Look to the left and right of the verb for objects, infinitives and participles.
By another, all conjuncts are participles in the protolanguage.
Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
The consideration of the verb involves a discussion of participles and causatives as well as a system of verbal infixes.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature