engage
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /ɪnˈɡeɪdʒ/, /ɛnˈɡeɪdʒ/
Verb

engage (engages, present participle engaging; 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.
      • the difficult task of engaging him in conversation
    3. To attract, to please; (archaic) to fascinate or win over (someone).
      • Good nature engages everybody to him.
  2. (heading) To interact antagonistically.
    1. (transitive) To enter into conflict with (an enemy).
      • 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.).
    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).
      • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, II.vii:
        Thou that doest liue in later times, must wage / Thy workes for wealth, and life for gold engage.
  4. (heading) 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, 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? […]”
  6. (transitive, obsolete) To entangle.
Antonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • French: embrayer
  • German: einrasten, ineinander greifen
  • Italian: impegolarsi
  • Spanish: embragar
Translations Translations Translations Translations


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