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

Educating and engaging ordinary voters on complicated structural reform proposals, which compete for attention with bread-and-butter matters like the state of the economy and healthcare reform, can be challenging. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "The Grassroots Battle to Save Democracy," 5 Sep. 2019 The new space also offers a place for people from a number of groups who have individually taken the training to engage collaboratively in monthly follow-up cultural humility workshops. Kaitlin Mccallum, courant.com, "Kamora’s Cultural Corner bridges a divide between black, queer and intercultural communities," 4 Sep. 2019 There are endless ways to work your abs, with both targeted abs exercises and total-body movements that require your whole midsection be engaged to keep you stable. Amy Marturana, SELF, "This Abs Workout Hits Your Entire Core in Under 8 Minutes," 3 Sep. 2019 But the researchers notes that the political left has also engaged in some disinformation campaigns, such as during the 2017 special Senate election in Alabama. Jason Silverstein, CBS News, "Instagram could be biggest target for disinformation in 2020 election," 3 Sep. 2019 The play offers the pleasure of eavesdropping on a clique constantly engaged in competitive, virtuoso conversation. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "How Matthew Lopez Transformed “Howards End” Into an Epic Play About Gay Life," 2 Sep. 2019 Routinely, the board listens to the comments, simply thanks speakers for their thoughts and moves on without engaging. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: So far, Del Mar survives summer under horse-racing microscope," 2 Sep. 2019 President Trump praised police officers who engaged the gunman. Edmund Demarche | Fox News, Fox News, "Texas gunman was fired from job hours before shooting rampage: report," 2 Sep. 2019 This seems to eliminate what otherwise might be a tidy explanation: that people engage in more homosexual behavior as their genetic tendency to do so goes up. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "The genetics of sexual orientation are about as complex as sexual orientation," 30 Aug. 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

8 Sep 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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