part of speech
Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (grammar) A linguistic category of words sharing syntactic or morphological behaviour and semantic properties, such as noun or verb.
1933, Leonard Bloomfield, Language, page 269:
- One group of substantives, the gerunds (scolding), belongs to a form-class with infinitives and with other verb-forms, in serving as head for certain types of modifiers, such as a goal (scolding the boys). For this reason a system of parts of speech in a language like English cannot be set up in any fully satisfactory way: our list of parts of speech will depend upon which functions we take to be the most important.
the function a word or phrase performs