English Dictionary

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engage (ɪnˈɡeɪdʒ Pronunciation for engage


verb (mainly transitive)

  1. to secure the services of; employ
  2. to secure for use; reserve   ⇒ engage a room
  3. to involve (a person or his or her attention) intensely; engross; occupy
  4. to attract (the affection) of (a person)   ⇒ her innocence engaged him
  5. to draw (somebody) into conversation
  6. (intransitive) to take part; participate   ⇒ he engages in many sports
  7. to promise (to do something)
  8. (also intransitive) (military) to begin an action with (an enemy)
  9. to bring (a mechanism) into operation   ⇒ he engaged the clutch
  10. (also intransitive) to undergo or cause to undergo interlocking, as of the components of a driving mechanism, such as a gear train
  11. (machinery) to locate (a locking device) in its operative position or to advance (a tool) into a workpiece to commence cutting

Derived Forms

enˈgager noun

Word Origin

C15: from Old French engagier, from en-1 + gage a pledge, see gage1


View thesaurus entry
= participate in, join in, take part in, undertake, practise, embark on, enter into, become involved in, set about, partake of
= employ, commission, appoint, take on, hire, retain, recruit, enlist, enrol, put on the payroll,
= book, reserve, secure, hire, rent, charter, lease, prearrange
= interlock, join, interact, mesh, interconnect, dovetail
= set going, apply, trigger, activate, switch on, energize, bring into operation
= begin battle with, attack, take on, encounter, combat, fall on, battle with, meet, fight with, assail, face off, wage war on, join battle with, give battle to, come to close quarters with
= promise, agree, contract, commit, guarantee, bind, pledge, undertake, vow, oblige, covenant, vouch, obligate, betroth, affiance

engagé (French) (ɑ̃ɡaʒe) 



  1. (of a writer or artist, esp a man) morally or politically committed to some ideology

Translations for 'engage'

  • British English: engage If you engage in an activity, you do it or are actively involved with it. VERBMany of these young people engage in criminal activities.to engage in sth
  • Brazilian Portuguese: engrenar
  • Chinese: 从事从從事
  • European Spanish: dedicarse a
  • French: prendre part
  • German: einrasten
  • Italian: dedicarsi
  • Japanese: 従事する
  • Korean: ~에 관여하다
  • Portuguese: engrenar
  • Spanish: dedicarse a

Example Sentences Including 'engage'

A spokesman said: "We have used every means possible to engage the local community.
Liverpool Daily Post and Echo (2003)
But again I just ignored what was going on and refused to engage Simmy.
Jan Fennell, Foreword by Monty Roberts THE DOG LISTENER: Learning the Language of your Best Friend (2002)
But biologists have now found that pig eggs can engage in a menage a trois with two sperm and still produce a perfectly healthy embryo.
New Scientist (1999)
He bowed to her formally, took her arm as if they were to engage in some arcane waltz.
Appiganesi, Lisa Dreams of Innocence
He will make a few appearances, but not major policy pronouncements, and will not engage in a city-to-city tour until then.
Globe and Mail (2003)
I thought it simpler at the time not to engage in philosophical discussion.
Appiganesi, Lisa Dreams of Innocence
In certain, rare cases it may even be necessary to engage the services of a structural engineer.
Glasgow Herald (2001)
She used to nudge her son to "be real" and engage with the intimacies of ordinary life.
Irish Times (2002)
The cameramen were standing under a tree, exchanging information as Teddy approached to engage them in conversation.
Duncan, Robert L The Serpent's Mark


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