Definition of “engage” - English Dictionary

“engage” in English

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uk /ɪnˈɡeɪdʒ/ us /ɪnˈɡeɪdʒ/

engage verb (INTEREST)

C1 [ T ] formal to interest someone in something and keep them thinking about it:

The debate about food safety has engaged the whole nation.
If a book doesn't engage my interest in the first few pages, I don't usually continue reading it.

[ I ] formal to become involved, or have contact, with someone or something:

She's an intelligent child but in class she doesn't really engage.
Just stay out of his way as much as possible, and don't engage with him.

More examples

engage verb (FIT TOGETHER)

[ I or T ] to make one part of a machine fit into and move together with another part of a machine:

When the large gear wheel engages (with the smaller one), the mill stone will start to go round.

engage verb (BEGIN FIGHTING)

[ I or T ] specialized military to attack or begin to fight someone:

Enemy planes engaged the troops as they advanced into the mountains.

Phrasal verb(s)


uk /ˌɒ̃.ɡæʒˈeɪ/ us /ˌɒ̃.ɡæʒˈeɪ/ formal

(Definition of “engage” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“engage” in American English

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us /ɪnˈɡeɪdʒ/

engage verb (INTEREST)

[ T ] to cause someone to become interested or involved in an activity, or to attract someone’s interest:

He wrote about things that engaged him.

engage verb (FIT TOGETHER)

[ I/T ] to fit one part of a machine into another so they move together, or cause something to fit into and move together:

[ I ] The gears won’t engage.
[ T ] You need to engage second gear.

engage verb (BEGIN FIGHTING)

[ T ] to attack or begin to fight an enemy in a military operation:

The marines engaged the enemy.

engage verb (EMPLOY)

[ T ] to arrange to employ someone; hire:

She decided to engage a personal assistant.
Her family engaged a tutor to teach her French.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “engage” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“engage” in Business English

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engageverb [ T ]

uk /ɪnˈɡeɪdʒ/ us

to employ someone:

engage sb (to do sth) They have engaged accountancy firm Ernst & Young to approach financial institutions for funding on their behalf.
It would be prudent to engage the services of a lawyer to help with this matter.

(Definition of “engage” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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We must try to engage with people, so that we can open their minds and our own to what underlies their hopelessness.
In the last few days many groups have been kind enough to invite me to address their meetings and to engage in building this consensus.
There is still the prevalent feeling in certain countries and states that we are actually using our trade policy to engage in indirect protectionism.
We must therefore continue to maintain a close dialogue with the transitional government, as well as engage in close dialogue with any government resulting from the 2004 elections.
We hope that all the institutions will engage constructively in a process to secure what is an important directive for all of us.
Above all we need to engage with our partners to gauge the real level of ambition and see if our ambitious vision of the round is genuinely shared by them.
If you engage in conversation with frontier workers, as has already been mentioned in the form of personal recollections, they will tell you that the problems know no bounds.
The time has come to make those who engage in the deliberate release of genetically modified organisms legally responsible for damage to human health and the environment.
We must engage in dialogue and debate with these interest groups, we must accept their advice and take account of their arguments, that we must.
The candidates have never asked us for funds for this purpose, but you know that they do engage nonetheless in these activities.

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