engineer

noun
en·​gi·​neer | \ ˌen-jə-ˈnir How to pronounce engineer (audio) \

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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Company engineers and test pilots are working to fix anti-stall technology on the Boeing 737 Max that is suspected to have played a role in two deadly crashes in the last six months. Bernard Condon, The Seattle Times, "Financial pressure mounts to fix Boeing’s troubled jetliner," 1 Apr. 2019 Facebook said engineers were seeking and removing a video by the gunman, who used Facebook Live to stream at least part of his deadly assault on two mosques, and permutations posted by others, Ms. Taylor said. Alexandra Bruell, WSJ, "Digital Media Companies Tell Ad Giant It’s ‘All Hands on Deck’ to Pull New Zealand Video," 15 Mar. 2019 During a post-accident inspection, engineers found evidence of previous derailments on the nearly 40-year-old coaster, including one that appeared to have taken place after it was refurbished in 2013, officials said in a preliminary report. Michael Williams, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Daytona Beach roller coaster derailed due to excessive speed, operator error, investigation finds," 11 July 2018 At its peak, the technology incubator and venture fund occupied two floors of a downtown Vancouver office building, where engineers toiled on semiconductors, robotics, big data analytics and facial recognition. Dan Levin, New York Times, "A Tech Guru Captivated Canada. Then He Fled to China.," 10 July 2018 Fortunately, engineers are working to pump water out from the cave. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "4 More Boys Rescued from Thailand Cave as Second Day of Rescue Operation Comes to Close," 9 July 2018 Another engineer was already in the country on holiday and six more are expected to land Sunday, Weerachon Sukhontapatipak, a spokesman for Thailand’s military government, said in a Saturday briefing in Bangkok. Fortune, "Elon Musk’s Team Due in Thailand to Help Rescue Soccer Team Trapped in Flooded Cave," 7 July 2018 In November, one frustrated engineer sought to illustrate the severity of the problem by buying thousands of fake followers for a Twitter manager, said two people familiar with the episode. Craig Timberg And Elizabeth Dwoskin, chicagotribune.com, "Twitter is sweeping out fake accounts like never before, putting user growth at risk," 7 July 2018 Rajant engineers have shrunk the devices in updated versions, from the size of a car battery to a desktop calculator to a mobile phone, while packing them with more power and features. Joseph N. Distefano, Philly.com, "America's robot future: Rajant celebrates new HQ, plans for growth," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The vehicle needs to be engineered from the beginning to make room for the airbag module, inflators, sensors, and side sill designs. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "Your Next Car Could Have Airbags That Inflate on the Outside," 15 Feb. 2019 Their only recourse is to engineer a white apartheid system similar to how many southern governments operated during Jim Crow, where Black populations were denied the vote while being subjected to the rule of white people. Bree Newsome, SELF, "The 2018 Midterm Elections Proved That Change Must Happen from the Ground Up," 15 Nov. 2018 For this plan to work, scientists will need to engineer antibiotic gluttons. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "Bacteria That Eat Drugs Could Help Solve the Antibiotic Resistance Crisis," 8 Nov. 2018 Inadequate development at the manufacturer that leaves brake systems prone to noise can usually be overcome by a Saturday mechanic without totally re-engineering the caliper/mount/pad/disc system. Mike Allen, Popular Mechanics, "How to Fix Squeaky Brakes," 14 Mar. 2019 Huawei engineered the Matebook 13 out of an aluminum alloy, chamfered the edges, and finished it off with a sandblast process that gives the surface a bit of grip. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Hands on: Huawei's Matebook 13 shrinks the Matebook X Pro into a 'Whiskey Lake'-powered laptop," 7 Jan. 2019 Even in these conditions engineered to override the will of people, however, there were a few bright spots to celebrate last Tuesday. Bree Newsome, SELF, "The 2018 Midterm Elections Proved That Change Must Happen from the Ground Up," 15 Nov. 2018 The company estimates that its seeds, engineered to resist glyphosate as well as dicamba, will be planted on 40 million acres nationwide this year. Paul Feldman, kansascity, "High-stakes battle over dicamba pesticide pits farmer against farmer | The Kansas City Star," 3 May 2018 Megan Hislop, of Sage Park, said Go Baby Go uses engineering to solve mobility issues for young children. Dennis Hohenberger, Courant Community, "Students Team Up With Connecticut Go Baby Go," 1 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.

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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

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Statistics for engineer

Last Updated

16 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for engineer

The first known use of engineer was circa 1635

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

engineer

noun
en·​gi·​neer | \ ˌen-jə-ˈnir How to pronounce engineer (audio) \

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 How to pronounce engineer (audio) \

Medical Definition of engineer

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on engineer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with engineer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for engineer

Spanish Central: Translation of engineer

Nglish: Translation of engineer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of engineer for Arabic Speakers

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