Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

engineer

[en-juh-neer]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a person trained and skilled in the design, construction, and use of engines or machines, or in any of various branches of engineering: a mechanical engineer; a civil engineer.
  2. a person who operates or is in charge of an engine.
  3. Also called locomotive engineer. Railroads. a person who operates or is in charge of a locomotive.
  4. a member of an army, navy, or air force specially trained in engineering work.
  5. Digital Technology. a person skilled in the design and programming of computer systems: a software engineer; a web engineer.
  6. a skillful manager: a political engineer.
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. to plan, construct, or manage as an engineer: He's engineered several big industrial projects.
  2. to design or create using the techniques or methods of engineering: The motor has been engineered to run noiselessly.
  3. to arrange, manage, or carry through by skillful or artful contrivance: He certainly engineered the election campaign beautifully.
Show More

Origin of engineer

1350–1400; engine + -eer; replacing Middle English engin(e)our < Anglo-French engineor Old French engigneor < Medieval Latin ingeniātor, equivalent to ingeniā(re) to design, devise (verbal derivative of ingenium; see engine) + Latin -tor -tor
Related formssub·en·gi·neer, nounun·en·gi·neered, adjectivewell-en·gi·neered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for engineer

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for engineer

engineer

noun
  1. a person trained in any branch of the profession of engineering
  2. the originator or manager of a situation, system, etc
  3. a mechanic; person who repairs or services machines
  4. US and Canadian the driver of a railway locomotive
  5. an officer responsible for a ship's engines
  6. Informal name: sapper a member of the armed forces, esp the army, trained in engineering and construction work
Show More
verb (tr)
  1. to originate, cause, or plan in a clever or devious mannerhe engineered the minister's downfall
  2. to design, plan, or construct as a professional engineer
Show More

Word Origin

C14: enginer, from Old French engigneor, from engignier to contrive, ultimately from Latin ingenium skill, talent; see engine
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for engineer

n.

early 14c., "constructor of military engines," from Old French engigneor, from Late Latin ingeniare (see engine); general sense of "inventor, designer" is recorded from early 15c.; civil sense, in reference to public works, is recorded from c.1600. Meaning "locomotive driver" is first attested 1832, American English. A "maker of engines" in ancient Greece was a mekhanopoios.

Show More

v.

1843 (but cf. engineering), from engineer (n.). Figurative sense of "arrange, contrive" is attested from 1864, originally in a political context. Related: Engineered.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper