engineer

noun
en·​gi·​neer | \ˌen-jə-ˈnir \

Definition of engineer 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a member of a military group devoted to engineering work

2 obsolete : a crafty schemer : plotter

3a : a designer or builder of engines

b : a person who is trained in or follows as a profession a branch of engineering

c : a person who carries through an enterprise by skillful or artful contrivance

4 : a person who runs or supervises an engine or an apparatus

engineer

verb
engineered; engineering; engineers

Definition of engineer (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to lay out, construct, or manage as an engineer engineer a bridge

2a : to contrive or plan out usually with more or less subtle skill and craft engineer a business deal

b : to guide the course of engineer a rally

3 : to modify or produce by genetic engineering corn engineered to resist crop pests

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for engineer

Verb

guide, lead, steer, pilot, engineer mean to direct in a course or show the way to be followed. guide implies intimate knowledge of the way and of all its difficulties and dangers. guided the scouts through the cave lead implies showing the way and often keeping those that follow under control and in order. led his team to victory steer implies an ability to keep to a course and stresses the capacity of maneuvering correctly. steered the ship through a narrow channel pilot suggests guidance over a dangerous or complicated course. piloted the bill through the Senate engineer implies finding ways to avoid or overcome difficulties in achieving an end or carrying out a plan. engineered his son's election to the governorship

Examples of engineer in a Sentence

Noun

Design engineers are working on ways to make the cars run more efficiently. The engineer stopped the train. Army engineers were called in to construct the canal.

Verb

The rebels engineered a successful attack. the mayor engineered an agreement to have a major league team play in our city
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Verizon also sent out two sites, and plans to have engineers at the event to help with any hiccups. Ally Marotti, chicagotribune.com, "Pokemon Go Fest is back and ready for the crowds after disappointing thousands last year," 12 July 2018 From engineers and artists to scientists and crafters, Maker Faire is the place to display their hobbies, experiments and projects in areas such as 3-D imaging, art and design, electric vehicles, gaming, robotics and wearables. Dan Kelly, kansascity, "KC events June 21-27: J.B. Smoove, Penn & Teller, Tour de Lakes, Fiesta Filipina," 19 June 2018 Zoox has about 250 engineers working to develop it. Fortune, "Who’s Winning the Self-Driving Car Race?," 31 May 2018 Chris Burk, a licensed engineer in Maryland, has lived in Academy Heights, a neighborhood in Catonsville, for about eight years. Cody Boteler, baltimoresun.com, "Relief sewer construction in Academy Heights in the pipeline for November, county says," 10 July 2018 Breezy Vega was appointed as a sales associate for Orlando Regional Realty Inc. Sean Carrigan has joined Dewberry as a senior engineer in the firm’s Orlando office. Orlando Sentinel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "People on the move 07/03," 2 July 2018 Miller, an engineer in the 3D printing business for more than 30 years, says its boomed in the past 6 years. Jerod Macdonald-evoy, azcentral, "Tempe company explores 3D printing for NASA spacecraft," 25 June 2018 Vevo has been pushing its own website and apps as a YouTube competitor, and engineers in the Portland office have been adding features. Mike Rogoway, OregonLive.com, "Music streaming service Vevo will shut down website, retain Portland engineering office," 24 May 2018 As of April, there are 589 nanosatellites in orbit—satellites with masses between 1 kilogram and 10 kilograms (2.2 pounds to 22 pounds), according to a comprehensive database run by Erik Kulu, a spacecraft systems engineer in Glasgow. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "The Curious Case of the Rogue Satellites," 17 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That may be changing as high-margin streams of revenue from Amazon Web Services and other businesses play a bigger role, as Thursday’s numbers may reveal, allowing Amazon to better engineer profitability. Laura Stevens, WSJ, "Amazon Looks to Keep Profits Flowing," 25 Oct. 2018 This means that a secondary propulsion system would need to be engineered, which can increase a satellite's size and weight. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "New Space Junk Solution Would Clean Up Debris With Ion Beams," 27 Sep. 2018 Two years ago Herrera’s former chief executive officer, François Kress, tried to engineer a coup d’état to expedite the founder’s exit and replace her with Laura Kim, who was then a consultant. Erik Maza, Town & Country, "Meet Wes Gordon, the Young Man Leading the Next Chapter of Carolina Herrera," 8 Aug. 2018 One of them is Joey Bose, a computer engineering student at the University of Toronto. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Here's a New Way to Trick Facial Recognition," 13 June 2018 According to a press release, engineering student Mario Tobia chanced upon the sculpture during a dig at the Abel site, located south of the Israel-Lebanon border, last summer. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Could This Sculpted Head Depict a Little-Known Biblical King?," 11 June 2018 Authorities said Haddad, a computer engineering student, rolled up to the Inn at Nye Beach just before 3 a.m. Saturday and strolled into the lobby wearing a Nike hoodie, his hands stuffed into a pair of white beach shorts. Shane Dixon Kavanaugh, OregonLive.com, "OSU freshman kidnaps, handcuffs female hotel worker at gunpoint, goes on joyride: cops," 31 May 2018 Robots whizzing through a course of golden tickets and Oompa Loompas inside an ice rink, while engineering students intently watch the world of their creation. Laney Ruckstuhl, BostonGlobe.com, "Robots compete for glory in a Willy Wonka-themed obstacle course at MIT," 11 May 2018 In October, a University of Kansas engineering student hacked into a professor’s computer and changed his grades favorably. Brooke Crothers, Fox News, "High school computer hack changes grades, top-10-student ranking in limbo," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'engineer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of engineer

Noun

circa 1635, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb

1828, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for engineer

Noun

Middle English engineour, from Anglo-French, from enginer to devise, construct, from engin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about engineer

Statistics for engineer

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for engineer

The first known use of engineer was circa 1635

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for engineer

engineer

noun

English Language Learners Definition of engineer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who has scientific training and who designs and builds complicated products, machines, systems, or structures : a person who specializes in a branch of engineering

: a person who runs or is in charge of an engine in an airplane, a ship, etc.

: a person who runs a train

engineer

verb

English Language Learners Definition of engineer (Entry 2 of 2)

: to plan, build, or manage (something) by using scientific methods

: to produce or plan (something) especially in a clever and skillful way

: to change the genetic structure of (a plant or animal)

engineer

noun
en·​gi·​neer | \ˌen-jə-ˈnir \

Kids Definition of engineer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person who designs and builds machinery or technical equipment : a person who studies or works in a branch of engineering an electrical engineer

2 : a person who runs or is in charge of a railroad engine or other machinery or technical equipment

engineer

verb
engineered; engineering

Kids Definition of engineer (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to plan, build, or manage as an engineer They engineered a faster race car.

2 : to plan out in a skillful or clever way : contrive The general engineered the defeat of the enemy.

engineer

transitive verb
en·​gi·​neer | \ˌen-jə-ˈni(ə)r \

Medical Definition of engineer 

: to modify or produce by genetic engineering insulin made by genetically engineered bacteriaTechnical Survey

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on engineer

What made you want to look up engineer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a trusted follower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!