1. A part of speech partaking of the nature 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, understand a verb in an adjectival aspect. (Earle)
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.
2. Anything that partakes of the nature of different things. The participles or confines between plants and living creatures. (bacon)
Origin: F. Participe, L. Participium, fr. Particeps sharing, participant; pars, gen. Partis, a part – capere to take. See Participate.