What does engage mean?

Definitions for engage

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word engage.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. prosecute, engage, pursueverb

    carry out or participate in an activity; be involved in

    "She pursued many activities"; "They engaged in a discussion"

  2. absorb, engross, engage, occupyverb

    consume all of one's attention or time

    "Her interest in butterflies absorbs her completely"

  3. hire, engage, employverb

    engage or hire for work

    "They hired two new secretaries in the department"; "How many people has she employed?"

  4. engageverb

    ask to represent; of legal counsel

    "I'm retaining a lawyer"

  5. betroth, engage, affiance, plightverb

    give to in marriage

  6. engageverb

    get caught

    "make sure the gear is engaged"

  7. engage, wageverb

    carry on (wars, battles, or campaigns)

    "Napoleon and Hitler waged war against all of Europe"

  8. engage, enlistverb

    hire for work or assistance

    "engage aid, help, services, or support"

  9. lease, rent, hire, charter, engage, takeverb

    engage for service under a term of contract

    "We took an apartment on a quiet street"; "Let's rent a car"; "Shall we take a guide in Rome?"

  10. engage, mesh, lock, operateverb

    keep engaged

    "engaged the gears"


  1. engageverb

    To engross or hold the attention of (someone); to keep busy or occupied.

  2. engageverb

    To draw into conversation.

  3. engageverb

    To attract, to please; to fascinate or win over (someone).

  4. engageverb

    To enter into conflict with (an enemy).

  5. engageverb

    To enter into battle.

  6. engageverb

    To arrange to employ or use (a worker, a space, etc).

  7. engageverb

    To mesh or interlock (of machinery, especially a clutch).

    Whenever I engage the clutch, the car stalls out.

  8. engageverb

    To enter into (an activity), to participate (construed with in).

  9. engageverb

    To guarantee or promise (to do something).

  10. engageverb

    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. engageverb

    To pledge, pawn (one's property); to put (something) at risk or on the line; to mortgage (houses, land).

  12. Etymology: From engagier, from engager, from Old, from an- + wadjōnan, from wadjō, from wadʰ-, equivalent to. Cognate with anwedd, weddian, wetten, veðja. More at wed.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To ENGAGEverb

    Etymology: engager, French.

    I have engag’d myself to a dear friend,
    Engag’d my friend to his meer enemy,
    To feed my means. William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.

    They most perfidiously condemn
    Those that engag’d their lives for them. Hudibras, p. ii.

    All wicked men are of a party against religion: some lust or interest engageth them against it. John Tillotson, Sermons.

    So far had we engaged ourselves, unfortunate souls, that we listed not to complain, since our complaints could not but carry the greatest accusation to ourselves. Philip Sidney, b. ii.

    Before I engage myself in giving any answer to this objection of inconsumptible lights, I would see the effect certainly averred. Kenelm Digby, on Bodies.

    This humanity and good-nature engages every body to him, so that when he is pleasant upon any of them, all his family are in good humour. Joseph Addison, Spectator, №. 106.

    To ev’ry duty he cou’d minds engage,
    Provoke their courage, and command their rage. Edmund Waller.

    His beauty these, and those his blooming age,
    The rest his house and his own fame engage. John Dryden, Æn.

    So shall I court thy dearest truth,
    When beauty ceases to engage;
    So thinking on thy charming youth,
    I’ll love it o’er again in age. Matthew Prior.

    We have been firm to our allies, without declining any expence to which we had engaged ourselves, and we have even exceeded our engagement. Francis Atterbury, Sermons.

    For I shall sing of battles, blood and rage,
    Which princes and their people did engage. Dryden.

    The rebel knave, who dares his prince engage,
    Proves the just victim of his royal rage. Alexander Pope.

  2. To Engageverb

    Upon advertisement of the Scots army, the earl of Holland was sent with a body to meet and engage with it. Edward Hyde.

    ’Tis not, indeed, my talent to engage
    In lofty trifles, or to swell my page
    With wind and noise. John Dryden, Pers. Sat. 5.


  1. engage

    To engage means to become involved in, participate in, or attract and hold the attention or interest of someone. It can also refer to the act of making a commitment or promise, entering into a contract or an agreement, or starting a fight or battle.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Engageverb

    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

  2. Engageverb

    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. Engageverb

    to gain over; to win and attach; to attract and hold; to draw

  4. Engageverb

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

  5. Engageverb

    to enter into contest with; to encounter; to bring to conflict

  6. Engageverb

    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

  7. Engageverb

    to promise or pledge one's self; to enter into an obligation; to become bound; to warrant

  8. Engageverb

    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

  9. Engageverb

    to enter into conflict; to join battle; as, the armies engaged in a general battle

  10. Engageverb

    to be in gear, as two cogwheels working together

  11. Etymology: [F. engager; pref. en- (L. in) + gage pledge, pawn. See Gage.]


  1. Engage

    Engage is an anti-racist organization which publishes materials in opposition to antisemitism, primarily in UK academic institutions. The group is made up of left-wing academics who oppose boycotts of Israel. The organization describes its mission as follows: "Engage challenges left and liberal antisemitism in the labour movement, in our universities and in public life more generally. Antisemitism here, manifests itself mainly as anti-Zionism. We are a resource for the monitoring and the critique of left and liberal antisemitism." Engage was originally founded in response to the decision of the Association of University Teachers to participate in an academic and cultural boycott of Israel. The founders of Engage are David Hirsh, who teaches at Goldsmiths College at the University of London, and Jon Pike, who teaches at the Open University. Hirsh had previously about left and liberal antisemitism for the Guardian Unlimited blog. Well-known supporters include the academic and blogger Norman Geras.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Engage

    en-gāj′, v.t. to bind by a gage or pledge: to render liable: to gain for service: to enlist: to gain over: to betroth: (archit.) to fasten: to win: to occupy: to enter into contest with: (obs.) to entangle.—v.i. to pledge one's word: to become bound: to take a part: to enter into conflict.—p.adj. Engaged′, pledged: promised, esp. in marriage: greatly interested: occupied: (archit.) partly built or sunk into, or so appearing: geared together, interlocked.—n. Engage′ment, act of engaging: state of being engaged: that which engages: betrothal: promise: employment: a fight or battle.—p.adj. Engag′ing, winning: attractive.—adv. Engag′ingly.—Engage for, to answer for. [Fr. engageren gage, in pledge. See Gage.]

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. engage

    1. In air defense, a fire control order used to direct or authorize units and/or weapon systems to fire on a designated target. See also cease engagement; hold fire. 2. (DOD only) To bring the enemy under fire.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. engage

    To gain for service; to enlist.

  2. engage

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

Editors Contribution

  1. engage

    To interact and communicate.

    So many people are engaged in politics and are inspired and motivated to make a difference.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 4, 2020  

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'engage' in Verbs Frequency: #441

How to pronounce engage?

How to say engage in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of engage in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of engage in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of engage in a Sentence

  1. Henry Ford:

    Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.

  2. Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders:

    The United States must not engage in torture, if we do, in an increasingly brutal world, we lose our moral standing to condemn other nations or groups that engage in uncivilized behavior.

  3. Smiley Blanton:

    It is easier to talk about money -- and much easier to talk about sex -- than it is to talk about power. People who have it deny it people who want it do not want to appear to hunger for it and people who engage in its machinations do so secretly.

  4. Fatima Elatik:

    Don't look away but engage, go to schools, talk to kids. Even if they have ideas that you think, 'my God, I can't bear to hear them,' they're kids. Engage with them, talk with them, give them a good example. But don't look away.

  5. Lewis Thomas:

    Ants are so much like human beings as to be an embarrassment. They farm fungi, raise aphids as livestock, launch armies into war, use chemical sprays to alarm and confuse enemies, capture slaves, engage in child labor, exchange information ceaselessly. They do everything but watch television.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for engage

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • جذبArabic
  • ангажирам, наемам, зацепвам, задължавамBulgarian
  • napadnoutCzech
  • engagereDanish
  • engagierenGerman
  • embragar, contratarSpanish
  • luvata, hyökätä, vuokrata, [[vetää]] [[keskusteluun]], työllistää, ryhtyä, [[joutua]] [[taisteluun]], pantata, palkata, kiehtoa, sitoutua, mennä kihloihin, [[ryhtyä]] [[taisteluun]], käyttää, [[viedä]] [[mielenkiinto]], lupautuaFinnish
  • embrayer, engagerFrench
  • fastaidhScottish Gaelic
  • belefog, harcba bocsátkozik, lekötHungarian
  • engajarIdo
  • ingaggiareItalian
  • verlovenDutch
  • заниматьсяRussian
  • angažirati, upustiti se, agnažirati, angažirati se, uplestiSerbo-Croatian
  • thuêVietnamese
  • 从事Chinese

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"engage." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 11 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/engage>.

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    To cause to become
    • A. famish
    • B. render
    • C. cleave
    • D. affront

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