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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Despite some common themes within the genre — deciding where to land, choosing distances at which to engage enemies and picking weapons — each battle royale features its own unique methods of accessibility. Washington Post, "Accessibility is part of the beauty of battle royales like ‘Warzone,’ ‘Fortnite’ and ‘PUBG’," 4 May 2021 Experts on policing say departments nationwide engage in racial profiling and that Black and brown communities often experience harassment and abuse — as well as violence and killings — when stopped by police. Sarah Ravani, San Francisco Chronicle, "'It was traumatizing': Black drivers more likely to be stopped by police in Berkeley, audit finds," 2 May 2021 Students who live in the city missed an average of one in five days during the first semester, prompting a massive, districtwide push to re-engage students and increase attendance. Rebecca Lurye, courant.com, "Hartford schools hope to enroll about 10,000 academically-struggling students in expanded summer learning, enrichment programs," 1 May 2021 When a real selling opportunity exists, there are generally multiple people who are part of the buying committee who engage and become leads. Forrester, Forbes, "Why Should You Care About A New Waterfall?," 28 Apr. 2021 Rather than engage with that message and focus on ending brutal police practices, legislators are taking aim at one of our fundamental rights. Vera Eidelman, CNN, "States are passing laws targeting peaceful protesters," 26 Apr. 2021 Bracey tells Allure that Unilever is currently completing a beta program for Degree Inclusive to engage and get input from people with disabilities — a process that has already taken over a year so far. Marci Robin, Allure, "Degree Designed a Deodorant for People With Upper-Limb Disabilities and Visual Impairment," 26 Apr. 2021 Fortune is building a community for CFO leaders to engage with and learn from colleagues across industries. Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, "How a cultural anthropologist embraces finance," 20 Apr. 2021 Gorsuch noted that hot debate has been a hallmark of the nation since its founding but asserted that democracy at self is at stake if Americans don't engage in the political process and can't learn to speak to one another with civility and respect. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Three Supreme Court justices tackle U.S. partisan divisions in public remarks," 16 Apr. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about engage

Time Traveler for engage

Time Traveler

The first known use of engage was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about engage

Statistics for engage

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Engage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/engage. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Comments on engage

What made you want to look up engage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!