1. Gram. A part of speech partaking of the nature of both verb and adjective; a form of a verb, or verbal adjective, modifying a noun, but taking the adjuncts of the verb from which it is derived. In the sentences: a letter is written; being asleep he did not hear; exhausted by toil he will sleep soundly, -- written, being, and exhaustedare participles.
By a participle, [I understand] a verb in an adjectival aspect. --Earle.
Note: ☞ Present participles, called also imperfect, or incomplete, participles, end in -ing. Past participles, called also perfect, or complete, participles, for the most part end in -ed, -d, -t, -en, or -n. A participle when used merely as an attribute of a noun, without reference to time, is called an adjective, or a participial adjective; as, a written constitution; a rolling stone; the exhausted army. The verbal noun in -ing has the form of the present participle. See Verbal noun, under Verbal, a.
2. Anything that partakes of the nature of different things. [Obs.]
The participles or confines between plants and living creatures. --Bacon.
n : a non-finite form of the verb; in English it is used
adjectivally and to form compound tenses [syn: participial]