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engage definition

Overview

This page has 22 definitions of engage in English and French. Engage is a verb. Examples of how to use engage in a sentence are shown. Also define these 31 related words and terms: engross, hold, attention, conversation, attract, please, fascinate, win over, Julian calendar, enter, conflict, enemy, battle, arrange, employ, use, guarantee, promise, bind, marry, pledge, pawn, mortgage, mesh, interlock, clutch, engineering, participate, in, entangle, and engager.

See also: engagé

English engage definition

Alternative forms

Etymology

From Middle English engagen, from Old French engagier (to pledge, engage), from Frankish *anwadjōn (to pledge), from Proto-Germanic *an-, *andi- + Proto-Germanic *wadjōną (to pledge, secure), from Proto-Germanic *wadją (pledge, guarantee), from Proto-Indo-European *wedʰ- (to pledge, redeem a pledge; guarantee, bail), equivalent to en- +‎ gage. Cognate with Old English anwedd (pledge, security), Old English weddian (to engage, covenant, undertake), German wetten (to bet, wager), Icelandic veðja (to wager). More at wed.

Pronunciation

Verb

engage (third-person singular simple present engages, present participle engaging, simple past and past participle engaged)

  1. (heading, transitive) To interact socially.
    1. To engross or hold the attention of; to keep busy or occupied.
      • 1712, Alexander Pope, Messiah:
        Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage.
    2. To draw into conversation.
    3. To attract, to please; (archaic) to fascinate or win over (someone).
  2. (heading) To interact antagonistically.
    1. (transitive) To enter into conflict with (an enemy).
      • 1698-1699, Edmund Ludlow, Memoirs
        a favourable opportunity of engaging the enemy
    2. (intransitive) To enter into battle.
  3. (heading) To interact contractually.
    1. (transitive) To arrange to employ or use (a worker, a space, etc.).
      • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, in The Affair at the Novelty Theatre[1]:
        For this scene, a large number of supers are engaged, and in order to further swell the crowd, practically all the available stage hands have to ‘walk on’ dressed in various coloured dominoes, and all wearing masks.
    2. (intransitive) To guarantee or promise (to do something).
    3. (transitive) To bind through legal or moral obligation (to do something, especially to marry) (usually in passive).
      They were engaged last month! They're planning to have the wedding next year.
    4. (obsolete, transitive) To pledge, pawn (one's property); to put (something) at risk or on the line; to mortgage (houses, land).
    • Mortgage definition
      A special form of secured loan where the purpose of the loan must be specified to the lender, to purchase assets that must be fixed (not movable) property, such as a house or piece of farm land. The assets are registered as the legal property of the borrower but the lender can seize them and dispose of them if they are not satisfied with the manner in which the repayment of the loan is conducted by the borrower. Once the loan is fully repaid, the lender loses this right of seizure and the assets are then deemed to be unencumbered. (1 of 2 mortgage definitions)
  4. (heading) To interact mechanically.
    1. To mesh or interlock (of machinery, especially a clutch).
      Whenever I engage the clutch, the car stalls out.
      • 1964 April, G. Freeman Allen, “The BRB shows traders the Liner train prototypes”, in Modern Railways, page 265:
        The Liner train wagon is a simple underframe on bogies, with coned location points that engage recesses in the container bases.
    2. (engineering, transitive) To come into gear with.
      The teeth of one cogwheel engage those of another.
  5. (intransitive) To enter into (an activity), to participate (construed with in).
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314, page 0088:
      [] We are engaged in a great work, a treatise on our river fortifications, perhaps? But since when did army officers afford the luxury of amanuenses in this simple republic? []
    • In definition
      Used to indicate location, inclusion, or position within spatial, temporal or other limits.
      1. Contained by. (1 of 19 in definitions)
  6. (transitive, obsolete) To entangle.

Antonyms

Derived terms

Translations


French engage definition

Pronunciation

Verb

engage

  1. first-person singular present indicative of engager
  2. third-person singular present indicative of engager
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of engager
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of engager
  5. second-person singular imperative of engager

Anagrams