• Engage


    • IPA: /ɪnˈɡeɪdʒ/, /ɛnˈɡeɪdʒ/
    • Rhymes: -eɪdʒ

    Alternative forms


    From Middle French engagier, from Old French engager ("to pledge, engage"), from Old Frankish *anwadjōn ("to pledge"), from Proto-Germanic *an-, *andi- + Proto-Germanic *wadjōną ("to pledge, secure"), from Proto-Germanic *wadjō ("pledge, guarantee"), from Proto-Indo-European *wadʰ- ("to pledge, redeem a pledge; guarantee, bail"), equivalent to - + 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.

    Full definition of engage


    1. (transitive) To interact socially.
      1. To engross or hold the attention of; to keep busy or occupied.
        • Alexander Pope (1688-1744)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. To interact antagonistically.
      1. (transitive) To enter into conflict with (an enemy).
      2. (intransitive) To enter into battle.
      3. To interact contractually.
        1. (transitive) To arrange to employ or use (a worker, a space, etc).
          • 1905, w, w:The Case of Miss Elliott Chapter 2, 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).
      4. To interact mechanically.
        1. To mesh or interlock (of machinery, especially a clutch).
          Whenever I engage the clutch, the car stalls out.
        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, The Purchase Price Chapter 1, 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 ?...”


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