Definition of gerund in English:



  • A verb form which functions as a noun, in Latin ending in -ndum (declinable), in English ending in -ing (e.g. asking in do you mind my asking you?).

    • ‘First, a noun form of the verb, i.e. gerund or agentive noun, is combined with some other word to make a compound word.’
    • ‘He also advises that one should use the active instead of the passive voice and gerunds instead of noun constructions.’
    • ‘I once learned that you should put possessives before gerunds; that ‘rule’ is sometimes awkward and pointless, but maybe it has something going for it here.’
    • ‘The writer describes one press conference: ‘During this 35-minute briefing the Secretary will use ‘kill’ nine times in various tenses and gerunds.’’
    • ‘‘Othering’, a favourite gerund in current academic-literary discussion, has yet to enter the dictionaries, but it shouldn't have long to wait.’


Early 16th century from late Latin gerundium, from gerundum, variant of gerendum, the gerund of Latin gerere ‘do’.