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verb in·volve \in-ˈvälv, -ˈvȯlv also -ˈväv or -ˈvȯv\

Simple Definition of involve

  • : to have or include (someone or something) as a part of something

  • : to cause (someone) to be included in some activity, situation, etc. : to cause (someone) to take part in something

  • : to cause (someone) to be associated with someone or something

Full Definition of involve


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 archaic :  to enfold or envelop so as to encumber

  3. 2 a :  to engage as a participant <workers involved in building a house> b :  to oblige to take part <right of Congress to involve the nation in war> c :  to occupy (as oneself) absorbingly; especially :  to commit (as oneself) emotionally <was involved with a married man>

  4. 3 :  to surround as if with a wrapping :  envelop

  5. 4 a archaic :  to wind, coil, or wreathe about b :  to relate closely :  connect

  6. 5 a :  to have within or as part of itself :  include b :  to require as a necessary accompaniment :  entail c :  3affect <the cancer involved the lymph nodes>

in·volve·ment play \-ˈvälv-mənt, -ˈvȯlv-\ noun
in·volv·er noun

Examples of involve

  1. He told us a story involving life on a farm.

  2. She remained involved with the organization for many years.

  3. Renovating the house involved hiring a contractor.

  4. The disease continued to spread until it involved the entire jaw.

Origin of involve

Middle English, to roll up, wrap, from Latin involvere, from in- + volvere to roll — more at voluble

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of involve

include, comprehend, embrace, involve mean to contain within as part of the whole. include suggests the containment of something as a constituent, component, or subordinate part of a larger whole <the price of dinner includes dessert>. comprehend implies that something comes within the scope of a statement or definition <his system comprehends all history>. embrace implies a gathering of separate items within a whole <her faith embraces both Christian and non-Christian beliefs>. involve suggests inclusion by virtue of the nature of the whole, whether by being its natural or inevitable consequence <the new job involves a lot of detail>.

Rhymes with involve

Medical Dictionary


transitive verb in·volve \in-ˈvälv, -ˈvȯlv also -ˈväv or -ˈvȯv\

Medical Definition of involve


  1. :  to affect with a disease or condition :  include in an area of damage, trauma, or insult <all the bones of the skull were involved in the proliferative process> <herpes involved the trigeminal nerve> <severely involved patients were isolated> <lacerations involved the muscles>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up involve? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

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