[ en-geyj ]
/ ɛnˈgeɪdʒ /

verb (used with object), en·gaged, en·gag·ing.

verb (used without object), en·gaged, en·gag·ing.

Nearby words

  1. enfranchisement,
  2. eng,
  3. eng.,
  4. eng. d.,
  5. engadine,
  6. engaged,
  7. engaged tone,
  8. engagement,
  9. engagement calendar,
  10. engagement ring

Origin of engage

1515–25; < Middle French engager, Old French engagier. See en-1, gage1

Related formsen·gag·er, noun


[ French ahn-ga-zhey ]
/ French ɑ̃ gaˈʒeɪ /


choosing to involve oneself in or commit oneself to something: Some of the political activists grew less engagé as the years passed.

Origin of engagé

1950–55; < French: literally, engaged

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for engage

British Dictionary definitions for engage


/ (ɪnˈɡeɪdʒ) /

verb (mainly tr)

Derived Formsengager, noun

Word Origin for engage

C15: from Old French engagier, from en- 1 + gage a pledge, see gage 1


/ French (ɑ̃ɡaʒe) /


(of a writer or artist, esp a man) morally or politically committed to some ideology
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 engage



early 15c., "to pledge," from Middle French engagier, from Old French en gage "under pledge," from en "make" + gage "pledge," through Frankish from Proto-Germanic *wadiare "pledge" (see wed).

It shows the common evolution of Germanic -w- to French -g-; cf. Guillaume from Wilhelm). Meaning "attract the attention of" is from 1640s; that of "employ" is from 1640s, from notion of "binding as by a pledge." Specific sense of "promise to marry" is 1610s (implied in engaged).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper