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
In a statement, Proletariat software engineer Dustin Yost conveyed optimism that despite the withdrawal of the union petition, workers’ priorities could still be addressed. Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Jan. 2023 Software engineer Jeremy Joslin spent 20 years working as an employee at Google but was laid off in 2023. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, 24 Jan. 2023 Hayden DeAngelis, who joined Wayfair as a software engineer in Boston after graduating from Northeastern last year, said his team was surprised by the layoffs. Aaron Pressman, BostonGlobe.com, 20 Jan. 2023 The app, created by a 25-year-old Amazon software engineer, is part of the latest rush in tech to build on top of AI software such as ChatGPT, an advanced chatbot prototype that burst onto the scene less than two months ago. David Ingram, NBC News, 20 Jan. 2023 Mann served in Afghanistan, earned a computer science degree at Columbia University and worked as a software engineer at Google before coming to Ukraine. Jeff Stein, Washington Post, 18 Jan. 2023 Mann served in Afghanistan, earned a computer science degree at Columbia University and worked as a software engineer at Google before coming to Ukraine. Jeff Stein, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Jan. 2023 But the Model X in the video was preprogrammed to drive from Menlo Park to Palo Alto, according to Elluswamy, who was a senior software engineer in 2019 before being promoted to head all Autopilot software development in 2019. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 17 Jan. 2023 By 1999, Andea was attending law school in Romania when her husband, a software engineer, won a green card lottery to emigrate to the United States. Brittanie Shey, Chron, 13 Jan. 2023
Verb
Economists have been surprised by recent strength in the labor market, as the Federal Reserve tries to engineer a slowdown and tame inflation. Lydia Depillis, New York Times, 10 Jan. 2023 Economists have been surprised by recent strength in the labor market, as the Federal Reserve tries to engineer a slowdown and tame inflation. Ben Casselman, New York Times, 3 Jan. 2023 Mixed around only the sixth interception of his high school career — not to mention a fumble lost — Carucci was able to engineer a game-tying drive with 0:04 remaining before the half, culminating in a 5-yard touchdown pass to Matthew Guidebeck. Jake Levin, BostonGlobe.com, 2 Dec. 2022 The Packers had taken the lead on the first snap after the 2-minute warning on an Antonio Freeman touchdown, but Steve Young was able to engineer the winning sequence. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 25 Jan. 2022 In this case, Harari is suggesting that AI itself will be able to socially engineer unsuspecting human beings. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 5 Nov. 2021 One of the best ways to do this is to engineer the context narrative with some core ideas (perhaps purpose or values, or strategic imperatives). Adrian Dearnell, Forbes, 28 Dec. 2022 But China can’t engineer its way out of this problem. Bobby Miller, National Review, 2 Dec. 2022 Or predecessor Boris Johnson, who could engineer a stunning comeback? Julia Horowitz, CNN, 21 Oct. 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 28 Jan. 2023.

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 bacteriaTechnical Survey

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