Origin of engagement

First recorded in 1615–25; engage + -ment
Related formsnon·en·gage·ment, nounre·en·gage·ment, noun

Synonyms for engagement

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

Examples from the Web for engagement

Contemporary Examples of engagement

Historical Examples of engagement

  • The breaking of Hope's engagement to Philip was attributed to every cause but the true one.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • Mona had come this time to tell her of her engagement to Geoffrey Carter.

  • I was afraid you might not be excused in time to keep your engagement with me to-morrow evening.

  • Christmas was a merry day to all but the major, who did not like the engagement any better than before.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • He had been sleeping badly since Sidney's announcement of her engagement.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

British Dictionary definitions for engagement



a pledge of marriage; betrothal
an appointment or arrangement, esp for business or social purposes
the act of engaging or condition of being engaged
a promise, obligation, or other condition that binds
a period of employment, esp a limited period
an action; battle
(plural) financial obligations
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 engagement

c.1600, "formal promise," from engage + -ment. Meaning "battle, fight" is from 1660s; promise-of-marriage sense is from 1742; meaning "appointment" is from 1806.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for engagement




The entrance of the fetal head or presenting part into the upper opening of the maternal pelvis.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.