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

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

The engineers are developing the attractions, but there’s also an entire team of electricians and mechanics. Kelly Dinardo, New York Times, "The Brains Behind Your Stomach’s Drop," 6 July 2019 So in the Raider, the engineers replaced the side-facing tail rotor with a rear-facing propeller. Eric Adams, WIRED, "The Pirouetting S-97 Raider Makes Your Helicopter Look Lazy," 5 July 2019 The discovery in Worcester, about 40 miles from Boston, was reported early Wednesday when the engineer of a slow-moving train alerted the conductor to the babies, and the locomotive was stopped. Dennis Romero, NBC News, "Twin infants found near railroad tracks in Massachusetts," 5 July 2019 The engineer saw Murphy fall, but was unable to stop in time to avoid striking him. Edmund H. Mahony, courant.com, "Connecticut Supreme Court says lawsuit against Metro North involving a Darien man struck and killed by a train can proceed," 5 July 2019 The dream of beating the Americans was finished and the Soviet engineers knew it. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "Nikita Khrushchev’s Son Watched his Father Lose the Space Race. 50 Years After the Moon Landing, He Holds No Grudge," 2 July 2019 The engineers found that most would pencil out to about $1.5 million to $2.7 million per building. Evan Bush, The Seattle Times, "If a big earthquake hits, many Washington schools at ‘high risk’," 1 July 2019 Despite the design engineers' wishes, the bolt holes on prefabricated pieces didn't always line up. al.com, "Who named the Dolly Parton Bridge?," 30 June 2019 But with some events reportedly hosted by former tech company executives and investors, the former vice president could be competing for donors who run in different circles than the engineers and designers donating to Warren and Sanders. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Democrats look beyond first debate," 27 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The band’s muscular, working-class rock-and-roll sounds like it’s almost engineered to be played loud in an automobile. John Adamian, courant.com, "Bret Michaels and Grand Funk Railroad to headline MDA benefit," 5 July 2019 Assuming that, Ford put a low console with cupholders between the seats and engineered it to survive if a 200-pound-plus adult steps on it. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "2020 Ford Explorer's new RWD changes everything for the better," 18 June 2019 One company recently caught in the crosscurrent was German engineering firm Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG . Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, "Global Economy Shows Strain as U.S. Steams Ahead," 14 Nov. 2018 Finally, the subpoena also asked for communications the city had with two other firms, global construction and engineering firm Johnson Controls, and water resources engineering firm Montgomery, Watson Harza. Dan Klepal, ajc, "Reed withheld subpoena aimed at airport in Atlanta bribery probe," 14 May 2018 Plus, Garland is represented by Klutch Sports, the agency that engineered Davis' acrimonious trade request and exit. Ben Golliver, courant.com, "2019 NBA mock draft: How will Pelicans build around Zion Williamson?," 18 June 2019 Plus, Garland is represented by Klutch Sports, the agency that engineered Davis’ acrimonious trade request and exit. Ben Golliver, The Denver Post, "2019 NBA mock draft: How will Pelicans build around Zion Williamson?," 18 June 2019 Even if scientists could engineer single-nutrient foods and measure and track diet with precision, the research would still be complicated by the fact that food is just one of many factors that impact health. Christine Byrne, Outside Online, "Are Eggs Bad for You? The Verdict Is Still Out.," 15 June 2019 The brainy student — who scored in the top 1% of standardized test-takers like more than half of UCLA’s engineering students — plans to intern this summer at a Bay Area start-up that makes rockets to launch small satellites. Teresa Watanabe, latimes.com, "$100-million gift to UCLA shows growing role of private donors in public universities," 4 June 2019

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

9 Jul 2019

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.
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!