Definition of engage
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 bogb : to attract and hold by influence or powerc : 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
5a : to hold the attention of : engross her work engages her completelyb : to induce to participate engaged the shy boy in conversation
6a : to enter into contest or battle with engage the enemyb : to bring together or interlock (weapons)
7 : to deal with especially at length
1a : to pledge oneself : promiseb : to make a guarantee he engages for the honesty of his brother
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Recent Examples of engage from the Web
Much of the document consists of an extensive list of requirements the defendants would have to meet in order to be allowed to engage in similar manufacturing or compounding activity.
The male chacma are about twice the size of females and aggressively fight one another and engage in howling competitions to establish dominance.
Gustavo Matamoros’ beard has gone gray, but his passionate promotion of listening as a way of engaging the world remains fresh.
Nobody looks good in this particular fake wrestling match; the question is why anyone engages in it at all.
Patients found the game interesting and engaging and felt motivated to keep training throughout the eight hours.
Charging documents indicate that Jasiczek had sexual intercourse and engaged in lewd fondling or touching with a student over the age of 16 between Jan. 1 and May 3.
Emory University for years has been making the case that it is engaged in, and contributing to, the city of Atlanta.
The Agency seeks to engage local governments, businesses, and schools to be community leaders for healthy air habits.
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.
Origin and Etymology of engage
Middle English, from Anglo-French engager, from en- + gage pledge, gage
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
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 and Etymology of engagé
French, past participle of engager to engage
First Known Use: 1946See Words from the same year
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.
Seen and Heard
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