English Dictionary

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English Dictionary

Definitions of engage

engage  (ɪnˈɡeɪdʒ


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 (slang), 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 (archaic), 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'

I thought it simpler at the time not to engage in philosophical discussion.
Appiganesi, Lisa Dreams of Innocence
He bowed to her formally, took her arm as if they were to engage in some arcane waltz.
Appiganesi, Lisa Dreams of Innocence
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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