busy or occupied; involved: deeply engaged in conversation.
pledged to be married; betrothed: an engaged couple.
under engagement; pledged: an engaged contractor.
entered into conflict with: desperately engaged armies.
  1. interlocked.
  2. (of wheels) in gear with each other.
Architecture. (of a distinct member) built so as to be truly or seemingly attached in part to the structure before which it stands: an engaged column.

Origin of engaged

First recorded in 1605–15; engage + -ed2
Related formsen·gag·ed·ly [en-gey-jid-lee, -geyjd-] /ɛnˈgeɪ dʒɪd li, -ˈgeɪdʒd-/, adverben·gag·ed·ness, nounun·en·gaged, adjective



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

to occupy the attention or efforts of (a person or persons): He engaged her in conversation.
to secure for aid, employment, use, etc.; hire: to engage a worker; to engage a room.
to attract and hold fast: The novel engaged her attention and interest.
to attract or please: His good nature engages everyone.
to bind, as by pledge, promise, contract, or oath; make liable: He engaged himself to repay his debt within a month.
to betroth (usually used in the passive): They were engaged last week.
to bring (troops) into conflict; enter into conflict with: Our army engaged the enemy.
Mechanics. to cause (gears or the like) to become interlocked; interlock with.
to attach or secure.
Obsolete. to entangle or involve.

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

to occupy oneself; become involved: to engage in business or politics.
to take employment: She engaged in her mother's business.
to pledge one's word; assume an obligation: I was unwilling to engage on such terms.
to cross weapons; enter into conflict: The armies engaged early in the morning.
Mechanics. (of gears or the like) to interlock.

Origin of engage

1515–25; < Middle French engager, Old French engagier. See en-1, gage1
Related formsen·gag·er, noun

Synonyms for engage

Antonyms for engage

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

Examples from the Web for engaged

Contemporary Examples of engaged

Historical Examples of engaged

  • Plainly, too, he was a man of action and a man who engaged all her instinctive liking.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Then after she was engaged to Shepler they talked him out of it.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • My granddaughter, you may have heard, is engaged to an Englishman.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • While engaged with her father, she would cut wood, haul logs, etc.

  • On the 23rd we were engaged making preparations for a start for Eucla.

British Dictionary definitions for engaged



pledged to be married; betrothed
employed, occupied, or busy
architect built against or attached to a wall or similar structurean engaged column
(of a telephone line) already in use
Derived Formsengagedly (ɪnˈɡeɪdʒɪdlɪ), adverb


verb (mainly tr)

to secure the services of; employ
to secure for use; reserveengage a room
to involve (a person or his attention) intensely; engross; occupy
to attract (the affection) of (a person)her innocence engaged him
to draw (somebody) into conversation
(intr) to take part; participatehe engages in many sports
to promise (to do something)
(also intr) military to begin an action with (an enemy)
to bring (a mechanism) into operationhe engaged the clutch
(also intr) to undergo or cause to undergo interlocking, as of the components of a driving mechanism, such as a gear train
machinery to locate (a locking device) in its operative position or to advance (a tool) into a workpiece to commence cutting
Derived Formsengager, noun

Word Origin for engage

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



(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 engaged



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