engage

verb
en·​gage | \ in-ˈgāj , 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 in engaged in trade for many years
b : to do or take part in something used with in engage 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 \

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

Tim was newly single at the time, but Faith was engaged to her former producer, Scott Hendricks. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "A Look Back at Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's Legendary Marriage," 2 Feb. 2019 Fashion house Oscar de la Renta is trying to engage with newer and younger shoppers without alienating longtime customers. Ray A. Smith, WSJ, "Oscar de la Renta Courts Younger Customers," 5 Sep. 2018 Eric and Sarah dated for five years before getting engaged in Mexico in 2011. Marie Milano, Country Living, "'NCIS: LA' Star Eric Christian Olsen and His Wife Sarah Wright Are the Cutest Couple Ever," 20 Jan. 2019 Tuck your tailbone and engage your core, butt, and quads. SELF, "A 15-Minute No-Equipment Core Workout You Can Do at Home," 18 Jan. 2019 Placing offensive missiles on an unmanned ship would provide the Navy with greater flexibility in engaging enemy targets, flanking enemy forces, and then launching missiles from unexpected directions. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "What We Know About the U.S. Navy's Drone Fleet of the Future," 15 Jan. 2019 In no particular order, here are the shows that engaged our heads and hearts this year. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "TV Technica 2018: Our favorite shows and binges," 24 Dec. 2018 These samples are tested and sent to a lab, with the results later added to the 5 Gyres Institute global database, an organization that engages citizens to monitor plastic marine pollution. Tyler Wetherall, Condé Nast Traveler, "The All-Women Sailing Crew Trying to Save the Ocean of Plastic," 27 Nov. 2018 The shell also incorporates fins and a guidance system, allowing it to engage pinpoint targets on land or missiles and aircraft in the air. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Navy Quietly Tested Mach 3 Heavy Gun Shells That Could Revolutionize Surface Warfare," 8 Jan. 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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Dictionary Entries near engage

enfume

eng

Engadine

engage

engagé

engaged

engaged tone

Statistics for engage

Last Updated

10 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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 \
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with engage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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