engage

verb
en·​gage | \ in-ˈgāj How to pronounce engage (audio) , en-\
engaged; engaging

Definition of engage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to offer (something, such as one's life or word) as backing to a cause or aim : to expose to risk for the attainment or support of some end engaged his all in the king's cause
2a 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 (someone, such as oneself) to do something especially : to bind by a pledge to marry
4a : to provide occupation for : involve engage him in a new project
b : to arrange to obtain the use or services of : hire engage a lawyer
5a : to hold the attention of : engross her work engages her completely
b : to induce to participate engaged the shy boy in conversation
6a : to enter into contest or battle with engage the enemy
b : to bring together or interlock (weapons)
7 : to deal with especially at length

intransitive verb

1a : to pledge oneself : promise
b : to make a guarantee he engages for the honesty of his brother
2a : to begin and carry on an enterprise or activity used with inengaged in trade for many years
b : to do or take part in something used with inengage in healthy activitiesengage in bad conduct
c : to give attention to something : deal failing to engage with the problem
3 : to enter into conflict or battle
4 : to come together and interlock the gears engaged

engagé

adjective
en·​ga·​gé | \ ˌäⁿ-ˌgä-ˈzhā How to pronounce engagé (audio) \

Definition of engagé (Entry 2 of 2)

: committed to or supportive of a cause

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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.

Examples of engage in a Sentence

Verb 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb These riders can be triggered if a player engages in certain types of misconduct. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "The Murky Future for Pirates Pitcher Felipe Vazquez," 17 Sep. 2019 In 2006, a year when Democrats were engaged in an ultimately successful fight to wrest back control of Congress from Republicans, Markey drew ire from Moveon.org. BostonGlobe.com, "As the 2018 midterm elections approached, Democratic candidates around the country wanted Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III’s help.," 17 Sep. 2019 Our family faced a similar racist backlash when the U.S. engaged in the Gulf War during the early 1990s. Simran Jeet Singh, The Conversation, "Why Sikhs wear a turban and what it means to practice the faith in the United States," 13 Sep. 2019 The change came after a 2012 federal investigation found Portland police engaged in a pattern of excessive force against people with mental illness. oregonlive, "Portland-area paramedics learning self-defense to cope with new threat: the public," 13 Sep. 2019 By engaging employers in a smarter debate on student loans, the business community can speak with one voice to urge policymakers to pass common sense legislation that will start chipping away at the crisis. Dan Rosensweig, Fortune, "There Are Concrete Ways Businesses Can Help Lower Student Debt," 17 Sep. 2019 From unique and diverse storytelling to powerful photography and engaging videos, The Courier Journal app provides news that’s customizable and delivered fast. Louisville Courier Journal, The Courier-Journal, "How to best experience The Courier Journal app," 16 Sep. 2019 Pérez, who is thirty-two years old, came to the U.S. from Venezuela in 2011, after becoming engaged to a U.S. citizen, the son of a veteran of the Bay of Pigs. Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, "The Fight for the Latino Vote in Florida," 16 Sep. 2019 As the Jaguars were leaving the field, a fan came out of the stands and engaged the coaches in a shouting match that escalated into a confrontation, McCowan said. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Helix leaps over St. Augustine for top ranking," 16 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'engage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of engage

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Adjective

1946, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for engage

Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French engager, from en- + gage pledge, gage

Adjective

French, past participle of engager to engage

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Statistics for engage

Last Updated

3 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for engage

The first known use of engage was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for engage

engage

verb
How to pronounce engagé (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of engage

formal : 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)

engage

verb
en·​gage | \ in-ˈgāj How to pronounce engage (audio) \
engaged; engaging

Kids Definition of engage

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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More from Merriam-Webster on engage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for engage

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with engage

Spanish Central: Translation of engage

Nglish: Translation of engage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of engage for Arabic Speakers

Comments on engage

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