en·​gi·​neer·​ing | \ˌen-jə-ˈnir-iŋ \

Definition of engineering 

1 : the activities or function of an engineer

2a : the application of science and mathematics by which the properties of matter and the sources of energy in nature are made useful to people

b : the design and manufacture of complex products software engineering

3 : calculated manipulation or direction (as of behavior) social engineering — compare genetic engineering

Examples of engineering in a Sentence

This control panel is a good example of smart engineering.

Recent Examples on the Web

Modern planes may be multi-million dollar miracles of engineering able to jet to the other side of the world in a single fuel-up, but their highly technical operations are still vulnerable to the whims of the original masters of the sky: birds. Cynthia Drescher, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Airports Keep Birds Away," 5 Nov. 2018 To exemplify all Apple has packed into this new, smaller tablet, VP of hardware engineering John Ternus compared it to a familiar bit of hardware. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Adieu, home button—Apple’s new iPad Pros have nearly edge-to-edge screens, FaceID," 30 Oct. 2018 Juan Toledo, MDX director of engineering, said excess toll money would only be used until the extension collects enough to pay for itself. Jenny Staletovich, miamiherald, "It was once part of the Everglades. Now Miami-Dade wants to use it for a highway," 8 June 2018 Mounir Lakkis, the hotel's director of engineering explains that gold is present in every five square meters of the 56-storey building. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "Bar Star: Delphia Lewis at Dreams Bar & Lounge," 6 June 2018 See this magnificent feat of engineering—along with the massive freighters and tiny tugboats traversing its waters—in action, both from an observation platform overlooking the locks or aboard an exciting boat tour. Laura Kiniry, Smithsonian, "The 20 Best Small Towns To Visit in 2018," 5 June 2018 Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, unveiled iOS 12, the latest version of the software powering the iPhone and iPad. Alex Fitzpatrick, Time, "The 6 Biggest New iPhone Features Apple Just Announced," 4 June 2018 Anna's mom, Srividhya Gopalan, is the director of engineering at a cybersecurity company. CBS News, "Inside Basis, the acclaimed school network behind the country's leading high schools," 2 June 2018 Truth in engineering and science is extremely important. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Recode Decode," 2 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'engineering.' 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 engineering

1697, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

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The first known use of engineering was in 1697

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English Language Learners Definition of engineering

: the work of designing and creating large structures (such as roads and bridges) or new products or systems by using scientific methods

: the control or direction of something (such as behavior)


en·​gi·​neer·​ing | \ˌen-jə-ˈnir-iŋ \

Kids Definition of engineering

: the application of science to the goal of creating useful machines (as automobiles) or structures (as roads and dams) industrial engineering computer engineering

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More from Merriam-Webster on engineering

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with engineering

Spanish Central: Translation of engineering

Nglish: Translation of engineering for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of engineering for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about engineering

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