en·​gage·​ment | \in-ˈgāj-mənt, en-\

Definition of engagement 

1a : an arrangement to meet or be present at a specified time and place a dinner engagement

b : a job or period of employment especially as a performer

2 : something that engages : pledge

3a : the act of engaging : the state of being engaged

b : emotional involvement or commitment seesaws between obsessive engagement and ambiguous detachment— Gary Taylor

c : betrothal

4 : the state of being in gear

5 : a hostile encounter between military forces

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Synonyms & Antonyms for engagement


employ, employment, hire


joblessness, nonemployment, unemployment

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Examples of engagement in a Sentence

The couple recently announced their engagement. She surprised everyone by breaking off her yearlong engagement. We have a dinner engagement this weekend. She's been offered several speaking engagements. his lifelong engagement with politics a lack of emotional engagement
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Recent Examples on the Web

As Baldwin sported the gigantic diamond on her finger, the couple strolled down the streets of NYC yesterday (July 11) after officially announcing their engagement. Rita Thompson, Billboard, "Hailey Baldwin Shows Off Huge Diamond Engagement Ring in NYC on a Stroll With Justin Bieber," 11 July 2018 The Engagement Princess Eugenie and her now fiancé Jack, had been dating for nearly seven years before announcing their engagement. Kara Thompson, Town & Country, "Princess Eugenie to Wed Jack Brooksbank in October," 3 July 2018 The push for greater community engagement is part of a statewide mandate by the Legislature under AB 617, which was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last summer. Joshua Emerson Smith, sandiegouniontribune.com, "$10 million in cap-and-trade dollars awarded for environmental justice programs, including to native tribe in San Diego," 11 July 2018 In the summer of 2016, [descendants] Velma and Ruth had been contacted by Gayle Jessup White, a community engagement officer with Monticello and the only descendant of Thomas Jefferson and the Hemings family employed there. Danielle Jackson, Longreads, "Oral History Project Grounds Story of Monticello in the Lives of the Enslaved," 27 June 2018 UConn’s graduate arts administration program focuses on careers on business side of the arts, including fundraising and development, marketing, strategic planning, budgeting and finance and community engagement. Kenneth R. Gosselin, courant.com, "UConn Backs Space Sharing Deal With Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum," 27 June 2018 The goal: Personal fulfillment, community engagement and a low-pressure lifestyle with more time for his wife and two young sons. Anne Kadet, WSJ, "Brooklyn Executive Ditches Banking Job to Lead Music School," 5 June 2018 However, a source confirmed to PEOPLE that the Doyle & Doyle antique brown diamond cluster ring is not linked to an engagement. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "Rihanna Responds to Photos of Her Feuding with Boyfriend Hassan Jameel with Lion Meme," 12 July 2018 Even before becoming a royal, Markle had worn this particular style during an official royal engagement with Prince Harry— but since her big day, the Duchess of Sussex is officially championing the resurgence of this timeless silhouette. Chrissy Rutherford, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Boatneck Neckline Is Officially Meghan Markle's Signature," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'engagement.' 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 engagement

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for engagement

Last Updated

23 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for engagement

The first known use of engagement was in 1601

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More Definitions for engagement



English Language Learners Definition of engagement

: an agreement to be married : the act of becoming engaged or the state of being engaged to be married

: a promise to meet or be present at a particular place and time

: a job as a performer


en·​gage·​ment | \in-ˈgāj-mənt \

Kids Definition of engagement

1 : the act of becoming engaged to be married : the state of being engaged to be married They announced their engagement.

2 : employment sense 3 He was offered several speaking engagements.

3 : appointment sense 1 It was Saturday and she had an important engagement.— Ellen Raskin, The Westing Game

4 : a fight between armed forces : battle


en·​gage·​ment | \in-ˈgāj-mənt \

Medical Definition of engagement 

: the phase of childbirth in which the fetal head passes into the cavity of the true pelvis

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Comments on engagement

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


something that serves to warn or remind

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