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 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 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

Those who knew Carol well remember her dedication to family and friends, and her readiness to engage in passionate discussions of important issues. courant.com, "Carol A. DiIorio," 13 June 2019 The Suns will need to engage in multi-team trade talks. Dana Scott, azcentral, "Here's how the Suns can resolve Tyler Johnson and the salary cap this summer," 13 June 2019 Top executives gathered at the Fortune CEO Initiative on Tuesday to discuss how companies can best to engage employees given these new realities. Erika Fry, Fortune, "How to Build a Thriving Multi-Generational Workforce," 12 June 2019 So, then, what enables Vance, Mueller, and Jackson to engage in such evil? Dennis Prager, National Review, "Leftism Makes People Meaner," 11 June 2019 The Red Bulls are also working on a forum to engage fans for feedback during the process. Si.com Staff, SI.com, "Numbers Behind 2019 MLS Ambition Rankings: Eastern Conference Clubs," 10 June 2019 The editors of the reviewing publications no longer seem to be engaged in literature. Elizabeth Hardwick, Harper's magazine, "Literary Failure," 10 June 2019 There are many opportunities to engage in impact investing in companies that advance a philanthropic mission while also generating solid financial returns. Bruce Deboskey, The Denver Post, "On Philanthropy: Philanthropy is the ultimate “risk capital”," 9 June 2019 In condemning the killing of civilians, the AU Chairperson affirmed the determination to engage and support the Sudanese people. Adem K Abebe, Quartz Africa, "In Sudan, the African Union reminds us it still has a key role in tackling the continent’s crises," 7 June 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

eng

Engadine

engagé

engage

engaged

engaged tone

engage in

Statistics for engage

Last Updated

16 Jun 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 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

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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