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 response Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused Pompeo of engaging in deception. Tim Lister, CNN, "Attack on Saudi oil facility a game-changer in Gulf confrontation," 15 Sep. 2019 But the question of whether engaging in what amounts to a two-front cold war against Russia and China could derail her plan to revitalize American diplomacy remains open. James W. Carden, Quartz, "Elizabeth Warren has a plan to fix the State Department and no one wants to talk about it," 13 Sep. 2019 What to Expect What to Expect Our middle school expeditions are for students ages 13 or older in grades 7-8, and offer students the opportunity to discover exciting destinations in a fun, engaging, and safe environment. National Geographic, "Japan Middle School Expedition," 10 Sep. 2019 Women who’d been there longer offered advice: Be sure to engage with them, we were told. Sandra Sidi, The Atlantic, "The Male Gaze on Steroids," 6 Sep. 2019 The five suspects, all of Cleveland and ranging from 18 to 23 years old, face felony charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland.com, "Voicemail threats against police bring additional charges: Westlake Police Blotter," 5 Sep. 2019 Parents can also seek advice from teachers and other school staff on how to make homework support engaging and attuned to their child’s learning needs. Daniel Hamlin, The Conversation, "Should parents help their kids with homework?," 29 Aug. 2019 Get in the habit of engaging in positive self-talk. Madeleine Burry, Good Housekeeping, "7 Self-Help Strategies For When You're Overwhelmed, According to Psychologists," 29 Aug. 2019 But the doctor, a renowned gynecologist and perinatologist, only mumbled some medical terms and did not engage with his patient. Maria Danilova, Harper's magazine, "Alternative Medicine," 28 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

7 Oct 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

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