[ en-juh-neer ]
See synonyms for: engineerengineeredengineering on

  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.

  1. Also called locomotive engineer .Railroads. a person who operates or is in charge of a locomotive.

  2. a member of an army, navy, or air force specially trained in engineering work.

  3. Digital Technology. a person skilled in the design and programming of computer systems: a software engineer;a web engineer.

  4. a skillful manager: a political engineer.

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.

  1. to arrange, manage, or carry through by skillful or artful contrivance: He certainly engineered the election campaign beautifully.

Origin of engineer

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English; engine + -eer; replacing Middle English engin(e)our, from Anglo-French engineor, Old French engigneor, from Medieval Latin ingeniātor, from ingeniā(re) “to design, devise” (derivative of ingenium “nature, innate quality, mental power, clever invention”; see engine) + Latin -tor -tor

Other words from engineer

  • sub·en·gi·neer, noun
  • un·en·gi·neered, adjective
  • well-en·gi·neered, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use engineer in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for engineer


/ (ˌɛndʒɪˈnɪə) /

  1. a person trained in any branch of the profession of engineering

  2. the originator or manager of a situation, system, etc

  1. a mechanic; person who repairs or services machines

  2. US and Canadian the driver of a railway locomotive

  3. an officer responsible for a ship's engines

  4. Informal name: sapper a member of the armed forces, esp the army, trained in engineering and construction work

  1. to originate, cause, or plan in a clever or devious manner: he engineered the minister's downfall

  2. to design, plan, or construct as a professional engineer

Origin of engineer

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