Definition of “engaged” - English Dictionary

“engaged” in British English

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uk /ɪnˈɡeɪdʒd/ us /ɪnˈɡeɪdʒd/

engaged adjective (MARRIAGE)

B1 having formally agreed to marry:

Debbie and Christa have just got engaged.
She was engaged to some guy in the army.
formal They're engaged to be married in June.

More examples

  • He asked her to sign a prenuptial agreement when they got engaged.
  • She told me that she'd been engaged three times, but had never actually married.
  • This photo was taken when we were engaged.
  • Where this form asks about my marital status, should I write 'engaged' or just 'single'?
  • She got engaged to her childhood sweetheart as soon as she left school.

engaged adjective (INVOLVED/BUSY)

[ after verb ] involved in something:

They've been engaged in a legal battle with the council for several months.
She's part of a team of scientists who are engaged on/upon cancer research.

[ after verb ] formal busy doing something:

I'd come to the meeting on Tuesday but I'm afraid I'm otherwise engaged (= doing something else).

More examples

  • The soldiers were engaged in hand-to-hand combat.
  • Rescuers were engaged in a frantic all-night effort to reach the survivors before their supply of air ran out.
  • So, what is this big research project you're engaged upon at the moment?
  • We wondered whether the mysterious gentleman was engaged upon a secret government mission.
  • During the war, she was actively engaged in the resistance.

engaged adjective (IN USE)

B1 If a phone or public toilet is engaged, someone is already using it:

Every time I call her, she/the phone/the number is engaged.
UK I've been trying to call him all evening, but I keep getting the engaged tone.
The sign on the toilet door said "Engaged".

More examples

  • His phone is engaged - can I put you on hold?
  • I've called him several times but his phone is always engaged.
  • The doctor's consulting room said "Engaged" on the door, but nobody was in there.
  • When the aircraft's toilet is engaged, the "occupied" sign is lit up.
  • All of the cubicles in the changing room were engaged, so we had to wait a few minutes.

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

“engaged” in American English

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engagedadjective [ not gradable ]

us /ɪnˈɡeɪdʒd/

publicly promising that you intend to marry someone:

They decided to get engaged.

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

“engaged” in Business English

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uk /ɪnˈɡeɪdʒd/ us

UK COMMUNICATIONS if a telephone is engaged, someone is already using it:

Customers calling to book tickets found the line was constantly engaged.
See also

busy doing something:

The president is currently engaged but you can meet with his deputy.
be engaged as sth

to be working as something:

At that time she was engaged as an adviser to several government departments.
be engaged in sth

to be involved in something:

The broadcaster is engaged in a complex legal battle over a failed joint venture.

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