from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. In Latin, a noun derived from a verb and having all case forms except the nominative.
- n. In other languages, a verbal noun analogous to the Latin gerund, such as the English form ending in -ing when used as a noun, as in singing in We admired the choir's singing.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A verbal form that functions as a verbal noun. (In English, a gerund has the same spelling as a present participle, but functions differently.)
- n. In some languages such as Italian or Russian, a verbal form similar to a present participle, but functioning as an adverb. These words are sometimes referred to as conjunctive participles.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A kind of verbal noun, having only the four oblique cases of the singular number, and governing cases like a participle.
- n. A verbal noun ending in -e, preceded by to and usually denoting purpose or end; -- called also the dative infinitive; as, “Ic hæbbe mete tô etanne” (I have meat to eat.) In Modern English the name has been applied to verbal or participal nouns in -ing denoting a transitive action; e. g., by throwing a stone.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The name given originally by grammarians to a Latin verbal noun, used in oblique cases with an infinitival value: as, amandi, amando, amandum, ‘loving’; hence applied also in other languages to somewhat kindred formations: e. g., in Sanskrit to forms in tvā, ya, etc., having the value of indeclinable adjectives: as, gatvā, -gatya, ‘going’; in Anglo-Saxon to a dative infinitive after tō: as, gōd tō etanne, ‘good to eat’ (that is, ‘good for eating’). Abbreviated ger.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a noun formed from a verb (such as the `-ing' form of an English verb when used as a noun)
Where a gerund is a noun formed from a verb usually by adding ‘ing’ to the ending.
In the pre-intermediate grammar reference section, the term gerund is used unapologetically, and the student is advised “You can use a dictionary to check whether verbs are followed by an infinitive with to or a gerund” (p. 141).
Remember that a gerund is a present participle of a verb (the - ing form) that is being treated like a noun:
A gerund is a present participle (verb form) that functions as a noun.
As the word gerund is variously used, we first define it.
If the gerund is a noun, then it must take a genitive possessor, because that’s how nouns work.
So it’s painting with an overly broad brush to claim that the gerund is just a noun and that one must therefore use the genitive form (my dancing).
But when the same word is used as a noun—“I see the bear, and its dancing isn’t so hot”—then the word is classified as a gerund.
Kids today think a dangling participle is something hanging out of your nose, and a gerund is a type of hamster.
The versatility of the gerund is the best evidence for the dynamic economy of our language.