Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of engage
Meaning of engage by Wiktionary Dictionary


    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 *wadjōnan ( “to pledge, secure” ), from Proto-Germanic *wadjō ( “pledge, guarantee” ), from Proto-Indo-European *wadʰ- ( “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 .


    • IPA: /ɪnˈɡeɪʤ/
    • Rhymes: -eɪdʒ


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

    1. ( transitive ) To engross or hold the attention of ( someone ); to keep busy or occupied .
    2. ( transitive ) To draw into conversation .
    3. ( transitive ) To attract, to please; ( archaic ) to fascinate or win over ( someone ) .
    4. ( transitive ) To enter into conflict with ( an enemy ) .
    5. ( intransitive ) To enter into battle .
    6. ( transitive ) To arrange to employ or use ( a worker, a space, etc ) .
    7. To mesh or interlock ( of machinery, especially a clutch ) .
      Whenever I engage the clutch, the car stalls out .
    8. ( intransitive ) To enter into ( an activity ), to participate ( construed with in ) .
    9. ( intransitive ) To guarantee or promise ( to do something ) .
    10. ( 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 .
    11. ( obsolete, transitive ) To pledge, pawn ( one's property ); to put ( something ) at risk or on the line; to mortgage ( houses, land ).


Explanation of engage by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. get caught

    2. make sure the gear is engaged
    3. consume all of one's attention or time

    4. give to in marriage

    5. keep engaged

    6. engaged the gears
    7. engage for service under a term of contract

    8. hire for work or assistance

    9. engage aid, help, services, or support
    10. carry out or participate in an activity

    11. They engaged in a discussion
    12. carry on ( wars, battles, or campaigns )

    13. ask to represent

    14. engage or hire for work

    Definition of engage by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Engage v. t. [imp. & p. p. Engaged ; p. pr. & vb. n. Engaging] [F. engager; pref. en- ( L. in ) + gage pledge, pawn. See Gage.]
      1. To put under pledge; to pledge; to place under obligations to do or forbear doing something, as by a pledge, oath, or promise; to bind by contract or promise. “I to thee engaged a prince's word.” Shak.

      2. To gain for service; to bring in as associate or aid; to enlist; as, “to engage friends to aid in a cause; to engage men for service.”

      3. To gain over; to win and attach; to attract and hold; to draw.

      Good nature engages everybody to him. Addison.

      4. To employ the attention and efforts of; to occupy; to engross; to draw on.

      Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage. Pope.

      Taking upon himself the difficult task of engaging him in conversation. Hawthorne.

      5. To enter into contest with; to encounter; to bring to conflict.

      A favorable opportunity of engaging the enemy. Ludlow.

      6. ( Mach. ) To come into gear with; as, “the teeth of one cogwheel engage those of another, or one part of a clutch engages the other part”.

    2. Engage, v. i.
      1. To promise or pledge one's self; to enter into an obligation; to become bound; to warrant.

      How proper the remedy for the malady, I engage not. Fuller.

      2. To embark in a business; to take a part; to employ or involve one's self; to devote attention and effort; to enlist; as, “to engage in controversy”.

      3. To enter into conflict; to join battle; as, “the armies engaged in a general battle”.

      4. ( Mach. ) To be in gear, as two cogwheels working together.