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 of engage
Middle English, from Anglo-French engager, from en- + gage pledge, gage
First Known Use: 15th century
Rhymes with engage
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 of engagé
French, past participle of engager to engage
First Known Use: 1946
Rhymes with engagé
Adige, A-OK, alleyway, All Fools' Day, All Saints' Day, All Souls' Day, all the way, anyway, appliqué, Arbor Day, arrivé, atelier, attaché, back away, ballonet, bang away, Bastille Day, Beaujolais, beta ray, beurre manié, BHA, blow away, botonée, Boxing Day, breakaway, break away, Bristol Bay, bustier, by the way, cabaret, cableway, Camagüey, canapé, cap-a-pie, Cape Cod Bay, caraway, carriageway, cassoulet, castaway, cathode ray, champlevé, chansonnier, chardonnay, Charolais, chevalier, china clay, cloisonné, cog railway, colorway, Condorcet, consommé, coryphée, cosmic ray, croupier, crudités, cutaway, day-to-day, debauchee, déclassé, dégagé, degree-day, delta ray, démodé, devotee, disarray, disobey, distingué, divorcé, divorcée, DNA, dollar day, double play, draw away, dress-down day, eagle ray, eightfold way, émigré, entranceway, entremets, entryway, espalier, everyday, exposé, expressway, fadeaway, fallaway, fall away, faraday, Faraday, faraway, fiancé, fiancée, fill away, fire away, flageolet, flyaway, foldaway, gal Friday, gamma ray, garde-manger, Georgian Bay, getaway, girl Friday, giveaway, give away, gratiné, gratinée, Greenaway, Groundhog Day, guillemet, Harare, hell to pay, Hemingway, hereaway, hideaway, hit the hay, HLA, holiday, holy day, Hornaday, Hudson Bay, Hugh Capet, Humboldt Bay, in a way, inter se, interplay, intraday, IPA, IRA, Ise Bay, judgment day, keep-away, kyrie, Labor Day, lackaday, latter-day, layaway, lay away, lingerie, macramé, Mandalay, manta ray, Massenet, matinee, medal play, meet halfway, MIA, Milky Way, Monterrey, Mother's Day, motorway, muscadet, mystery play, negligee, New Year's Day, New York Bay, Nicolet, night and day, Nottaway, off Broadway, Ojibwa, on the way, out of play, overlay, overplay, overstay, overweigh, Paraguay, passageway, pass away, passion play, pepper spray, Petare, photoplay, pikake, pis aller, play-by-play, plug-and-play, popinjay, potter's clay, pourparler, pousse-café, power play, present-day, protégé, protégée, pull away, put away, Put-in-Bay, Rabelais, rack railway, rainy-day, rambouillet, ratiné, recamier, recherché, reconvey, repartee, repoussé, résumé, retroussé, ricochet, right away, right-of-way, rockaway, roentgen ray, rondelet, roundelay, RNA, runaway, run away, Saguenay, salt away, San Jose, Santa Fe, São Tomé, Saturday, satyr play, semplice, Seventh-Day, severance pay, shadow play, sleepaway, sobriquet, sock away, sommelier, square away, steerageway, standaway, stowaway, straightaway, street railway, Table Bay, taboret, tarsier, taxiway, tearaway, tear away, teleplay, Tenebrae, thataway, throwaway, throw away, Thunder Bay, triple play, turn away, Udine, underlay, underpay, underplay, underway, Uruguay, velouté, Venite, vérité, vertebra, virelay, walkaway, Wang Ching-wei, waterway, wellaway, Whitsunday, workaday, working day, Yenisey, Zuider Zee
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.>
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