American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To obtain or contract for the services of; employ: engage a carpenter.
- v. To arrange for the use of; reserve: engage a room. See Synonyms at book.
- v. To pledge or promise, especially to marry.
- v. To attract and hold the attention of; engross: a hobby that engaged her for hours at a time.
- v. To win over or attract: His smile engages everyone he meets.
- v. To draw into; involve: engage a shy person in conversation.
- v. To require the use of; occupy: Studying engages most of my time.
- v. To enter or bring into conflict with: We have engaged the enemy.
- v. To interlock or cause to interlock; mesh: engage the automobile's clutch.
- v. To give or take as security.
- v. To involve oneself or become occupied; participate: engage in conversation.
- v. To assume an obligation; agree.
- v. To enter into conflict or battle: The armies engaged at dawn.
- v. To become meshed or interlocked: The gears engaged.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To pledge; bind as by pledge, promise, contract, or oath; put under an obligation to do or forbear doing something; specifically, to make liable, as for a debt to a creditor; bind as surety or in betrothal: with a reflexive pronoun or (rarely) a noun or personal pronoun as object: as, nations engage themselves to each other by treaty.
- To pawn; stake; pledge.
- To secure for aid, employment, use, or the like; put under requisition by agreement or bargain; obtain a promise of: as, to engage one's friends in support of a cause; to engage workmen; to engage a carriage, or a supply of provisions.
- To gain; win and attach; draw; attract and fix: as, to engage the attention.
- To occupy; employ the attention or efforts of: as, to engage one in conversation; to be engaged in war; to engage one's self in party disputes.
- To enter into contest with; bring into conflict; encounter in battle: as, the army engaged the enemy at ten o'clock.
- To interlock and become entangled; entangle; involve.
- In mech., to mesh with and interact upon; enter and act or be acted upon; interlock with, as the teeth of geared wheels with each other, or the rack and pinion in a rack-and-pinion movement. Synonyms To commit, promise.
- To pledge one's word; promise; assume an obligation; become bound; undertake: as, a friend has engaged to supply the necessary funds.
- To occupy one's self; be busied; take part: as, to engage in conversation; he is zealously engaged in the cause.
- To have an encounter; begin to fight; enter into conflict.
- In fencing, to cross weapons with an adversary, pressing against his with sufficient force to prevent any manœuver from taking one unawares. Farrow, Mil. Encyc.
- In machinery, to mesh and interact.
- In construction, to fasten or let into a wall for support, as to secure a column to a wall. See engaged column, under column.
- v. transitive To engross or hold the attention of (someone); to keep busy or occupied.
- v. transitive To draw into conversation.
- v. transitive To attract, to please; (archaic) to fascinate or win over (someone).
- v. transitive To enter into conflict with (an enemy).
- v. intransitive To enter into battle.
- v. transitive To arrange to employ or use (a worker, a space, etc).
- v. To mesh or interlock (of machinery, especially a clutch).
- v. intransitive To enter into (an activity), to participate (construed with in).
- v. intransitive To guarantee or promise (to do something).
- v. transitive To bind through legal or moral obligation (to do something, especially to marry) (usually in passive).
- v. obsolete, transitive To pledge, pawn (one's property); to put (something) at risk or on the line; to mortgage (houses, land).
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. 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.
- v. To gain for service; to bring in as associate or aid; to enlist
- v. To gain over; to win and attach; to attract and hold; to draw.
- v. To employ the attention and efforts of; to occupy; to engross; to draw on.
- v. To enter into contest with; to encounter; to bring to conflict.
- v. (Mach.) To come into gear with.
- v. To promise or pledge one's self; to enter into an obligation; to become bound; to warrant.
- v. To embark in a business; to take a part; to employ or involve one's self; to devote attention and effort; to enlist.
- v. To enter into conflict; to join battle.
- v. (Mach.) To be in gear, as two cogwheels working together.
- v. keep engaged
- v. engage or hire for work
- v. hire for work or assistance
- v. consume all of one's attention or time
- v. engage for service under a term of contract
- v. get caught
- v. carry on (wars, battles, or campaigns)
- v. carry out or participate in an activity; be involved in
- v. give to in marriage
- v. ask to represent; of legal counsel
- 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. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English engagen, to pledge something as security for repayment of debt, from Old French engagier : en-, in; see en-1 + gage, pledge, of Germanic origin. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“He got half of the word engage out, and then the call came up from sickbay.”
“He goes on to mount the argument -- an optimistic one, in my view -- that perhaps the reluctance to engage is "a sign of a robust, questioning, and skeptical press.”
“Opportunities to create partnerships and to engage is not a year and a half from now, or two years from now, where perhaps you will see a continued reduction in attacks or violence," said Francisco Sanchez, the U.S. undersecretary of commerce for international trade.”
“She then discussed how the classroom environment, and the teacher knowing how best to get kids to engage, is critical to a good classroom.”
“They want government to tell you who to marry, when to have children, how many children you can have and how you can engage is sexual relations with other private citizens.”
“Power to engage is not with the academy, it's with the students.”
“And I think it's a situation that the authorities have to watch pretty closely, that these groups don't again engage in violent activity.”
“For many of the economically vulnerable who sought cash from Hindki bankers, the infusion of capital they received contributed only to short-term fiscal buoyancy, say for a season or a year, after which time they would again engage the hundi-based money market for more credit and greater debt.”
“You can move the content around from your computer to iPod and so on, but not engage is mass distribution.”
“McPalin engage in more than sufficient abominable tactics, so pulling back that far with such a weak bow merely serves to antagonise the right (remember, it's not red or blue, it's UNITED states ...) and dilutes the real and sustainable criticisms about dishonorable conduct that can be made on facts and not on some out-of-the-ass lingusitic-political babble.”
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