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 Join our Facebook Group, The Ruling Off the Field, to engage in friendly debate and conversation with fellow football fans and our NFL insiders. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "Everything you need to know for NFL's Thanksgiving games: Breaking down 3 matchups," 28 Nov. 2019 The couple got engaged in June 2017 in Lake Como, Italy and married three months later in a small ceremony in Santa Barbara, California, according to People. Marie Milano, Country Living, "How Troy Aikman and His Wife Capa Mooty Make Their Blended Family Work," 28 Nov. 2019 Along with the Knight Foundation grant, the company doubled in size to 51 employees and is now engaging with 6 million voters/subscribers. Melanie Eversley, Fortune, "Can an App Drive More Voters to the Polls in 2020? This Entrepreneur Has High Hopes It Will," 27 Nov. 2019 Explore how to identify or create a networking opportunity and effectively engage during a networking opportunity. courant.com, "Community News For The Windham Edition," 27 Nov. 2019 Players engage spatial reasoning and strategic thinking skills, and persistence and debugging pay off to get the blocks to fit just right. Michelle Z. Donahue, Smithsonian, "The Ten Best STEM Toys to Give as Gifts in 2019," 26 Nov. 2019 After an on-again off-again romance, Tinsley Mortimer and Scott Kluth are engaged. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Tinsley Mortimer of Real Housewives of New York Is Engaged to Scott Kluth," 26 Nov. 2019 Supporting the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program is especially important for securing the funds that will keep these programs going and keep our kids engaged in school, out of trouble, and on track for productive lives. Tony Spurlock, The Denver Post, "Tony Spurlock: Congress must continue funding for after school programs that help Colorado kids," 25 Nov. 2019 Davidson was, of course, previously engaged to Ariana Grande, and was more recently linked to Kate Beckinsale and Margaret Qualley. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kaia Gerber and Pete Davidson Just Held Hands at a Friend's Wedding," 24 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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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

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Engage.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/engaging%20in%20conversation. Accessed 12 December 2019.

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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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