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

In place of a conventional automatic's torque converter, this dual-clutch six-speed transmission uses two clutch packs to couple the engine to the transmission—one that's engaged when an odd gear is selected, the other for evens. Clifford Atiyeh, Car and Driver, "What You Need to Know about Ford's PowerShift Transmission Problems," 13 May 2019 Clearly, all the moving around worked (by now, both men had their own eponymous design firms): After about a year of dating, the two got engaged in April, 2013, and celebrated with friends in Machu Picchu. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "A Brief Timeline of Nate Berkus & Jeremiah Brent's Relationship," 3 May 2019 Soon after, the couple got back together and were later engaged, until they officially got married later that year. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Here's the Real Reason Why Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin Ditched the 2019 Billboard Music Awards," 1 May 2019 The GoT actor and singer became engaged in October 2017. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner Were Married in a Las Vegas Chapel," 2 May 2019 The fitness chain backed by Angelo, Gordon & Co. and New Evolution Ventures has engaged Citigroup Inc. to explore strategic options including a sale, the people said. Jaewon Kang, WSJ, "Private Equity-Backed Crunch Fitness Weighs Options," 1 May 2019 We were inspired by projects that came before us, but really wanted to take this to the next level by incorporating social media, and the Internet, and form advocacy groups, and engage families. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "The New Frontier of Participatory Cancer Research," 26 Apr. 2019 Emma is also taking advantage of all of those engaged Instagram followers, posting ads for companies like Hollister on her feed. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Emma Chamberlain's Age and Net-Worth is Seriously Unbelievable," 27 Feb. 2019 Advertisers were originally drawn to HQ Trivia for its huge user base, and now HQ is hoping that Words will keep those users engaged for longer periods of time. Jon Porter, The Verge, "HQ Trivia becomes HQ Trivia & Words as second game exits beta," 24 Dec. 2018

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

19 May 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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