Gerunds can either stand alone, or they can take a noun (the object of the gerund) and/or modifier(s) to form a gerund phrase.
1. In Latin, a noun derived from a verb and having all case forms except the nominative.
[Late Latin gerundium, from alteration (modeled on participium, participle) of Latin gerundum, variant of gerendum, neuter gerundive of gerere, to carry on.]
ge·run′di·al (jə-rŭn′dē-əl) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Grammar) a noun formed from a verb, denoting an action or state. In English, the gerund, like the present participle, is formed in -ing: the living is easy.
[C16: from Late Latin gerundium, from Latin gerundum something to be carried on, from gerere to wage]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
1. a form in Latin regularly derived from a verb and functioning as a noun, used in all cases but the nominative, as dicendī gen., dicendō dat., abl., etc., “saying.”
2. a form similar to the Latin gerund in meaning or function, as in English the -ing form of a verb when functioning as a noun, as writing in Writing is easy.
[1505–15; « Latin gerundum that which is to be carried on, derivative of ger(ere) to bear, carry on + –undum, variant of –endum gerund suffix]
ge•run•di•al (dʒəˈrʌn di əl) adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
A verb form that ends in “-ing” and can be used as a noun, for example, “swimming.”
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited