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 And this increases your ability to engage — and possibly persuade — them over time. Alexandra Carter, NBC News, "How to survive a politically-divided Thanksgiving table (even if it's virtual), according to a U.N. negotiation trainer," 23 Nov. 2020 Her push to engage her peers is understandable given how crucial the youth vote was in the 2020 election. Lindsay Schnell, USA TODAY, "With Senate on the line, Georgia activists are sliding into voters' DMs before election," 23 Nov. 2020 Wait for better timing to begin a new project or engage in a fundraising event. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Nov. 20, 2020: Virgo, measure twice, cut once; Capricorn, buckle down," 20 Nov. 2020 Baltimore Mayor-elect Brandon Scott, a 2006 graduate of the school, said having the memorial at St. Mary’s is part of a much broader effort that America needs to engage in to address its past. Washington Post, "St. Mary’s College of Maryland unveils memorial to enslaved people on its campus," 19 Nov. 2020 But over the last year many of you have had to find new ways to engage clients and audiences. House Beautiful, "Six Creatives on How the Design World Has Changed This Year," 19 Nov. 2020 Boerne seemed like the right place to engage another passion: cooking. Mike Sutter, ExpressNews.com, "3 new restaurants in Boerne: Botero Tapas + Wine Bar, Las Guitarras Cocina Mexicana and Richter Tavern," 19 Nov. 2020 The Wizards ultimately will decide when to engage about Beal and at what level. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Will Heat regret bypassing Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey?," 19 Nov. 2020 The group has an African American outreach initiative that exists to engage, build trust and create meaningful relationships with the Black community. Dallas News, "Paul Quinn offers free COVID-19 testing, food giveaways every Saturday in November," 19 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for engage

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for engage

Last Updated

26 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Engage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/engage. Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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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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Comments on engage

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