Simple Definition of engage
: to hire (someone) to perform a particular service : to pay for (help, services, etc.)
: to get and keep (someone's attention, interest, etc.)
: to start fighting against (an opponent) ( formal )
Full Definition of engage
1 : to offer (as one's word) as security for a debt or cause
2 a obsolete : to entangle or entrap in or as if in a snare or bog b : to attract and hold by influence or power c : to interlock with : mesh; also : to cause (mechanical parts) to mesh <engage the clutch>
3 : to bind (as oneself) to do something; especially : to bind by a pledge to marry
5 a : to hold the attention of : engross <her work engages her completely> b : to induce to participate <engaged the shy boy in conversation>
6 a : to enter into contest or battle with <engage the enemy> b : to bring together or interlock (weapons)
7 : to deal with especially at length
1 a : to pledge oneself : promise b : to make a guarantee <he engages for the honesty of his brother>
Examples of engage in a sentence
He was engaged as a tutor.
He sure can engage an audience.
The story engaged my interest.
The troops prepared to engage the enemy.
The troops prepared to engage with the enemy.
Origin and Etymology of engage
Middle English, from Anglo-French engager, from en- + gage pledge, gage
First Known Use: 15th century
Definition of engagé
: committed to or supportive of a cause
Did You Know?
Engagé is the past participle of the French verb engager, meaning "to engage." The French have used "engagé" since the 19th century to describe socially or politically active people. The term became particularly fashionable in the wake of World War II, when French writers, artists, and intellectuals felt it was increasingly important for them to take a stand on political or social issues and represent their attitudes in their art. By 1946, English speakers had adopted the word for their own politically relevant writing or art, and within a short time "engagé" was being used generally for any passionate commitment to a cause.
Origin and Etymology of engagé
French, past participle of engager to engage
First Known Use: 1946
ENGAGE Defined for Kids
Definition of engage for Students
1 : to catch and keep fixed (as someone's attention) <The story engaged my interest.>
2 : to take part in or cause to take part in something <He engages in many school activities.>
3 : to enter into contest or battle with <Soldiers engaged the enemy.>
4 : to arrange for the services or use of : employ <I suggest you engage a lawyer.>
5 : mesh <The gears engaged.>
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up engage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).