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 inengaged in trade for many years
b : to do or take part in something used with inengage 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 There is not a single person outside the beltway who is engaged in this nonsense. Washington Post, "Trump impeachment hearing spurs shadow spin war," 13 Nov. 2019 There is not a single person outside the beltway who is engaged in this nonsense. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "'Snoozefest': Eric Trump tweets that hearing in impeachment inquiry is 'horribly boring'," 13 Nov. 2019 Patriot Front shares qualities both with groups engaged in real domestic terrorism and with fringe political groups. ProPublica, "They Are Racist; Some of Them Have Guns. Inside the White Supremacist Group Hiding in Plain Sight.," 13 Nov. 2019 Some of these records could likely shed light on the practices these pharmaceutical companies engaged in that contributed to the opioid crisis and help us better protect the public from such epidemics in the future. Alexander Egilman, STAT, "Confidentiality orders in drug, device lawsuits harm patients and the public," 11 Nov. 2019 Her advocacy for the late entrant into the presidential race ran in stark contrast to host Maher's skepticism, and the two engaged in a lively debate about Bloomberg's merits and shortfalls during their conversation as a result. Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter, "Judge Judy Spars With Bill Maher Over Michael Bloomberg 2020 Run," 9 Nov. 2019 This entails figuring out how to fund better detection technologies and how to create response plans that engage state and local institutional players. Ana Santos Rutschman, The Conversation, "Salad bars and water systems are easy targets for bioterrorists – and America’s monitoring system is woefully inadequate," 7 Nov. 2019 The family's vehicles were sprayed with gunfire on a road near Rancho La Mora in a remote and mountainous area where the Sinaloa cartel has been engaged in a turf war with another gang. Adrianna Rodriguez And Kristin Lam, azcentral, "Mexico ambush: Suspect arrested in connection with 'incomprehensible' attack on family," 6 Nov. 2019 The bloodshed took place Monday in a remote, mountainous area in northern Mexico where the Sinaloa cartel has been engaged in a turf war. Mark Stevenson, The Denver Post, "Drug cartel gunmen kill 9 U.S. citizens in an ambush in Mexico," 5 Nov. 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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Statistics for engage

Last Updated

17 Nov 2019

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
How to pronounce engagé (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for engage

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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