After verifying that it was a real word, I just posted a chapter named "Processioning". I have begun to wonder what kind of thing that is. As far as I know there has never been a verb, "to procession", and "to process" is something else entirely. Yet, "they were processioning through town" makes perfect sense.

I am thinking that there may be a class of such words, apparent verb forms made from nouns. Am I misguided, or simply ignorant of what the heck that is? It is also weird that processioning would not be used as a gerund, because the noun form is procession. I guess it could be an adjective though, "the processioning group".


  • talented musicians
  • an unconvincing argument
  • an enterprising foreign policy
  • a fun-loving guy

are sound examples with no corresponding verbs [EA].

  • 2
    The intransitive verb procession does exist [AHD]. Oct 6, 2023 at 16:17
  • Does this answer your question? What Do You Call It when a Noun is Used as a Verb?
    – fev
    Oct 6, 2023 at 16:25
  • 3
    I’m voting to close this question because (i) the intransitive verb procession does exist. (ii) Absent context, the PoS of "processioning" could be gerund, verbal noun or participle.
    – Greybeard
    Oct 6, 2023 at 16:30
  • The claimed duplicate deals with verbing of nouns, conversion giving non-defective verbs. Very different. I verb, you verb .... But *I yellow-belly. Oct 6, 2023 at 16:38
  • 3
    I’m voting to close this question because (i) the intransitive verb procession does exist. (ii) Absent context, the PoS of "processioning" could be gerund, verbal noun or participle. Oct 6, 2023 at 17:46

1 Answer 1


Such words do exist, though obviously 'unconvincing' say isn't derived from a noun. Though Downing and Locke (see next link) state that derivation from a noun rather than a verb is ... at least, usual. Examples include enterprising, neighboring, talented, and skilled [Nordquist; ThoughtCo]. ('Skilled' probably arose before 'skill' was commonly verbed.)

They are called pseudo-participials / pseudo-participles (and may be -ed as well as -ing types):

  • pseudo-participial [adjective] [not comparable]

[linguistics]: Having the form of a participial of a verb, but for which no such verb exists. For example, for the adjective yellow-bellied there is no corresponding verb "to yellow-belly".

  • [noun] pseudo-participial [plural pseudo-participials]

[linguistics] A pseudo-participial word.


The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar, p282 similarly has:

Participial adjectives also include words formed with the regular -ed or -ing forms but which lack a corresponding verb.

Parasynthetic [compound] adjectives of this sort are especially frequent: able-bodied, half-hearted, two-faced, white-haired ...

This kind (lacking a corresponding verb) is sometimes called a pseudo-participle.

  • 1
    I'd love to see some -ing examples of this.
    – tchrist
    Oct 8, 2023 at 1:33
  • Two-faced lacks a verb, but time-saving does not. In all these cases, it's object-verbing in form, because you verb the object.
    – tchrist
    Oct 8, 2023 at 14:12
  • 'Timesave / time-save ...' does not exist as a verb. My understanding is that that is the criterion. Obviously, 'face', 'mind', take', speak' ... exist as simplex verbs.'Facing', 'saving' ... are not pseudo-participials. Oct 8, 2023 at 14:24
  • That's silly. If it's a time-saving measure, you don't “❌time-save”; you simply save time. A man-eating tiger has a verb it derives from: it's eat. These are perfectly normal participial forms. They are not pseudos. Maybe a tigering man would be pseudo since there's no verb to ❌tiger to base it off of, but not a man-eating tiger. Just simple stuff here: an object-participle is a normal way to make compound adjectives from transitive verbs. It's only when there's no verb that we have what OED calls the ‑ed² suffix; that's not a real verb then, like rough-whiskered.
    – tchrist
    Oct 8, 2023 at 14:40
  • As I say, I believe the term is used to cover not only simplex forms, but also parasynthetic adjectives where there is no corresponding compound verb. But this is terminology; I could be wrong. Can you find an authority deciding this issue? // In the meantime, I've removed the contentious items. Oct 8, 2023 at 15:48

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