Can anyone please advise what is the name of a verb which is used as a prefix to a noun to make that noun more specific.. Examples.. Roasting pan,

Baking tray,

Frying pan,

Assault rifle,

Walking stick,

Reading glasses

Thanks for your time


First off, the -ing form is not always a verb. Second, it doesn't act as a prefix in your examples.

Most of your examples use participles (an -ing form used as an adjective).

Participles have various uses in a sentence. One use of a participle is simply as an adjective:

A broken window. A fallen tree. An interesting book.


However, seeing that you also mentioned assault rifle, in case you're looking for a word that describes modifiers like these, I suggest


A word or phrase, especially an adjective, used to attribute a quality to another word, especially a noun. [Oxford]

An example to illustrate:

PHOEBE: No you can't quit college! No! You're in college? Really?

FRANK: Yeah, refrigerator college.

(Frank used a qualifier to make his point clearer)

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  • Tushar! It’s been too long! Glad to see you’re still around and lending your expertise to the site. On the “qualifier” section, wouldn’t the “assault” in “assault rifle” be a particular kind of qualifier, specifically a attributive noun? I guess you could make the same case for “frying” in “frying pan” if you take up the other answer’s argument that such words are gerunds which are “nouns with the force of a verb”. – Dan Bron Feb 27 '18 at 11:55
  • @DanBron: Too long indeed. I really hope my comeback sticks this time :) (Been a bit busy with my day job and pursuing a Master's at the same time.) I hope you're doing stellar. – Tushar Raj Feb 27 '18 at 12:14

It's a gerund. It really doesn't modify the noun. For example, the walking stick is not actually walking. It's a stick used for the purpose of walking.

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