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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Wildcats did not engage in any 7-on-7 or 11-on-11. Michael Lev, The Arizona Republic, 7 Aug. 2022 When preseason camp opens today, Napier’s first Florida team will play musical chairs, receive a geography lesson and even engage in a spelling bee. Edgar Thompson, Orlando Sentinel, 4 Aug. 2022 This no-frills show sees economist Russ Roberts engage in sprawling conversations with writers and academics on a range of economics topics. Simon Hill, Wired, 4 Aug. 2022 Cordie is bullied by classmates, but others in his life engage him with new activities and ideas. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 1 Aug. 2022 Another possibility would be to identify farmers with the most experience at transitioning fields through climate-resilience farming methods, and engage them to upgrade land that hasn’t been optimally farmed in the past. Steven Savage, Forbes, 19 July 2022 Counselors answering calls for 988 will be trained to stay calm while working with people having suicidal thoughts, and to engage them in conversation. Maggie O'neill, SELF, 15 July 2022 Sicher urged the carrier to re-engage with the union on talks to fix the system. Shiyin Chen, BostonGlobe.com, 2 July 2022 White became more aggressive and approached the group, who did not engage him, the prosecutor wrote. oregonlive, 27 June 2022 See More

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.

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near engage

Engadine

engage

engagé

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for engage

Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Engage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/engage. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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

More Definitions for engage

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on engage

Nglish: Translation of engage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of engage for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!