engineer

1 of 2

noun

en·​gi·​neer ˌen-jə-ˈnir How to pronounce engineer (audio)
1
: a member of a military group devoted to engineering work
2
obsolete : a crafty schemer : plotter
3
a
: 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

2 of 2

verb

engineered; engineering; engineers

transitive verb

1
: to lay out, construct, or manage as an engineer
engineer a bridge
2
a
: 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
Choose the Right Synonym for engineer

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

Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Users could play a retro-style game on yesterday’s Google doodle (which is still up today) and even create their own game while learning about the engineer’s career. Melissa Noel, Essence, 2 Dec. 2022 The buildings and the diner were up for demolition on Sept. 1, but the Newport Planning Board balked when the lawyer for the project engineer asked them on Sept. 12 to approve the application to demolish. Amanda Milkovits, BostonGlobe.com, 25 Nov. 2022 Another exciting tidbit the engineer gives in the interview is that AirPods Pro 2 adjusts the sound depending on its connected device. José Adorno, BGR, 25 Nov. 2022 For NBC Sports, Mike Madden narrated a halftime feature and Joe Madden served as the sound engineer when it was taped in their father’s facility. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, 24 Nov. 2022 Shotwell was on the call with human resources on which Moline and four others were fired, the engineer told CBS News. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, 22 Nov. 2022 Baglino is the only engineer apart from Musk to regularly brief investors on important developments during quarterly earnings calls. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 17 Nov. 2022 According to what is called the Ringelmann effect (named after the French engineer Maximilien Ringelmann), as the size of a group increases, the average individual effort falls. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 17 Nov. 2022 Frohnhoefer wasn’t the only Twitter engineer who seemed to have reached his limit of patience with Musk’s leadership style. Ashley Belanger, Ars Technica, 15 Nov. 2022
Verb
Illenberger said students use cross-disciplinary STEM skills to design and engineer their pumpkin-launching devices and skills in the scientific method to construct their launching devices. Carol Kovach, cleveland, 11 Oct. 2022 Royden Saah, for instance, coordinates the Genetic Biocontrol of Invasive Rodents (GBIRd) program, which is trying to engineer gene drives in mice to prevent island bird extinctions. Erika Check Hayden, STAT, 3 July 2021 The strictures of a movie-soundtrack gig also give her cover to reintroduce audiences to her voice and talent without the need to engineer a nightclub-dominating hit. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 28 Oct. 2022 The Adani Group has begun making its own cells for solar panels, with plans to engineer the rest of the materials in the supply chain in the next few years. Hari Kumar, New York Times, 28 Oct. 2022 But the drive to engineer a baby boom also has its dark side, with the state intruding further into people’s private lives and interfering in their most intimate decisions. Elvia Limón, Los Angeles Times, 14 Sep. 2022 On paper the series certainly has the ingredients to engineer a longer run, but this first season -- often visually dazzling, while dragging in the later episodes -- speaks more to the concept's promise than fully executing upon it. Brian Lowry, CNN, 5 Aug. 2022 This ability to fine-tune the contours of a trip—to engineer new modes of experience—is Wallach’s passion. Wired, 28 July 2022 And after years of arduous work, experimentalists only managed to conclusively engineer one into existence in 2021. Karmela Padavic-callaghan, Scientific American, 9 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

circa 1635, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb

1828, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of engineer was circa 1635

Dictionary Entries Near engineer

Cite this Entry

“Engineer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/engineer. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

engineer 1 of 2

noun

en·​gi·​neer ˌen-jə-ˈni(ə)r How to pronounce engineer (audio)
1
: a member of a military group devoted to engineering work
2
a
: a designer or builder of engines
b
: a person who is trained in or follows as a profession a branch of engineering
3
: a person who runs or supervises an engine or technical machinery

engineer

2 of 2

verb

1
: to plan, build, or manage as an engineer
2
: to guide the course of
engineer a rally

Medical Definition

engineer

transitive verb

en·​gi·​neer ˌen-jə-ˈni(ə)r How to pronounce engineer (audio)
: to modify or produce by genetic engineering
insulin made by genetically engineered bacteria Technical Survey

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