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 Yet after two phone calls with Putin, Biden remained convinced that face-to-face talks were the only adequate venue to truly engage the notoriously truculent leader. Jeff Zeleny, CNN, 9 June 2021 Among the stories: Two veterans of a war-of-words on Twitter find a way to engage in respectful sparring. Greg Fitzgerald, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 June 2021 And many Pilates instructors mix in moves specifically meant to engage areas like your arms, glutes, and lower legs. Emily Abbate, SELF, 8 June 2021 Some of the hardest Californians to engage, however, are those with the most to lose if the lines aren’t drawn equitably — particularly low-income folks and communities of color. Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 June 2021 Arboretum chief executive Richard Schulhof said the peafowls delight visitors, especially the elaborate courtship dances that males engage in this time of year, which involve fanning out their spectacular tail feathers. Erica Werner, Washington Post, 6 June 2021 For the Parma City Schools, such reductions over the years ostensibly forced art educators to find creative ways to engage students. John Benson, cleveland, 4 June 2021 Still, with a name and address in hand, scammers can build off that information to engage in more dangerous attacks. Yoni Heisler, BGR, 3 June 2021 The 10-day Florida Python Challenge is intended to bring awareness to the invasive species problem in South Florida and engage the public in Everglades conservation through invasive species removal. Chris Perkins, sun-sentinel.com, 3 June 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.

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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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Time Traveler for engage

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for engage

Last Updated

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Engage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/engage. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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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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