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-ing 1

1. Used to form the present participle of verbs: seeing.
2. Used to form adjectives resembling present participles but not derived from verbs: swashbuckling.

[Middle English, alteration (influenced by -inge, noun or gerund suff.; see -ing2) of -ende, -inde, from Old English -ende, present participle suff.]

-ing 2

a. Action, process, or art: dancing.
b. An instance of an action, process, or art: a gathering.
2. An action or process connected with a specified thing: berrying.
a. Something necessary to perform an action or process: mooring.
b. The result of an action or process: a drawing.
c. Something connected with a specified thing or concept: siding; offing.

[Middle English, from Old English -ung, -ing.]

-ing 3

One having a specified quality or nature: sweeting.

[Middle English, from Old English, belonging to, descended from.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


suffix forming nouns
1. (Grammar) (from verbs) the action of, process of, result of, or something connected with the verb: coming; meeting; a wedding; winnings.
2. (Grammar) (from other nouns) something used in, consisting of, involving, etc: tubing; soldiering.
3. (from other parts of speech): an outing.
[Old English -ing, -ung]


1. (Grammar) forming the present participle of verbs: walking; believing.
2. (Grammar) forming participial adjectives: a growing boy; a sinking ship.
3. (Grammar) forming adjectives not derived from verbs: swashbuckling.
[Middle English -ing, -inde, from Old English -ende]


suffix forming nouns
(Grammar) a person or thing having a certain quality or being of a certain kind: sweeting; whiting.
[Old English -ing; related to Old Norse -ingr]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


a suffix of nouns formed from verbs, expressing the action of the verb or its result, product, material, etc. (the art of building; a new building; cotton wadding). It is also used to form nouns from words other than verbs (offing; shirting). Compare -ing2.
[Middle English; Old English -ing, -ung]


a suffix forming the present participle of verbs (walking; thinking), such participles being often used as participial adjectives: warring factions. Compare -ing1.
[Middle English -ing, -inge; the variant -in (usually represented in sp. as -in') continues Middle English -inde, -ende, Old English -ende]
pron: The common suffix -ing2 can be pronounced in modern English as (-ɪŋ) or (-ɪn) The two pronunciations reflect the use of one nasal as against another (velar vs. alveolar) and not, as is popularly supposed, “dropping the g,” since no actual g-sound is involved. Many speakers use both (-ɪŋ) and (-ɪn) depending on speed of utterance and the relative formality of the occasion. For some educated speakers, esp. in the southern United States and Britain, (-ɪn) is the common pronunciation, while others use (-ɪŋ) virtually always. In response to correction from perceived authorities, many American speakers who would ordinarily use (-ɪn) at least some of the time make a conscious effort to say (-ɪŋ) however informal the circumstances.


a suffix meaning “one belonging to,” “of the kind of,” “one descended from,” and sometimes having a diminutive force, formerly used in the formation of nouns: bunting; farthing; gelding; shilling; whiting. Compare -ling1.
[Middle English, Old English -ing, c. Old Norse -ingr, -ungr, Gothic -ings]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.