verb in·volve \ in-ˈvälv , -ˈvȯlv also -ˈväv or -ˈvȯv \
|Updated on: 5 Aug 2018

Definition of involve

involved; involving
1 archaic : to enfold or envelop so as to encumber
2 a : to engage as a participant
  • workers involved in building a house
b : to oblige to take part
  • right of Congress to involve the nation in war
c : to occupy (someone, such as oneself) absorbingly; especially : to commit (someone) emotionally
  • was involved with a married man
3 : to surround as if with a wrapping : envelop
4 a archaic : to wind, coil, or wreathe about
b : to relate closely : connect
5 a : to have within or as part of itself : include
b : to require as a necessary accompaniment : entail
c : 3affect
  • the cancer involved the lymph nodes


play \in-ˈvälv-mənt, -ˈvȯlv-\ noun



Examples of involve in a Sentence

  1. He told us a story involving life on a farm.

  2. She remained involved with the organization for many years.

  3. Renovating the house involved hiring a contractor.

  4. The disease continued to spread until it involved the entire jaw.

Recent Examples of involve from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'involve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of involve

Middle English, to roll up, wrap, from Latin involvere, from in- + volvere to roll — more at voluble

Synonym Discussion of involve

include, comprehend, embrace, involve mean to contain within as part of the whole. include suggests the containment of something as a constituent, component, or subordinate part of a larger whole.
    • the price of dinner includes dessert
comprehend implies that something comes within the scope of a statement or definition.
    • his system comprehends all history
embrace implies a gathering of separate items within a whole.
    • her faith embraces both Christian and non-Christian beliefs
involve suggests inclusion by virtue of the nature of the whole, whether by being its natural or inevitable consequence.
    • the new job involves a lot of detail

INVOLVE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of involve for English Language Learners

  • : to have or include (someone or something) as a part of something

  • : to cause (someone) to be included in some activity, situation, etc. : to cause (someone) to take part in something

  • : to cause (someone) to be associated with someone or something

INVOLVE Defined for Kids


verb in·volve \ in-ˈvälv , -ˈvȯlv \

Definition of involve for Students

involved; involving
1 : to draw into a situation : engage
  • The teacher involved her students in the project.
2 : to take part in
  • I'm not involved in the planning.
3 : include
  • The accident involved three cars.
4 : to be accompanied by
  • The plan involves some risk.
5 : to have or take the attention of completely
  • He was deeply involved in his work.


\-mənt\ noun

Word Root of involve

The Latin word volvere, meaning “to roll” or “to turn around,” gives us the root volv. Words from the Latin volvere have something to do with turning. To revolve is to turn in circles or travel on a circular path. To evolve, or grow or develop out of something else, is to unroll from a source. To involve, or include, is to roll someone into a situation.

Medical Dictionary


transitive verb in·volve \ in-ˈvälv, -ˈvȯlv also -ˈväv or -ˈvȯv \

medical Definition of involve

involved; involving
: to affect with a disease or condition : include in an area of damage, trauma, or insult
  • all the bones of the skull were involved in the proliferative process
  • herpes involved the trigeminal nerve
  • severely involved patients were isolated
  • lacerations involved the muscles

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