[ in-volv ]
See synonyms for: involveinvolvedinvolvesinvolving on

verb (used with object),in·volved, in·volv·ing.
  1. to include as a necessary circumstance, condition, or consequence; imply; entail: This job involves long hours and hard work.

  2. to engage or employ.

  1. to affect, as something within the scope of operation.

  2. to include, contain, or comprehend within itself or its scope.

  3. to bring into an intricate or complicated form or condition.

  4. to bring into difficulties (usually followed by with): The investigation discovered a plot to involve one nation in a war with another.

  5. to cause to be troublesomely associated or concerned, as in something embarrassing or unfavorable: Don't involve me in your quarrel!

  6. to combine inextricably (usually followed by with).

  7. to implicate, as in guilt or crime, or in any matter or affair.

  8. to engage the interests or emotions or commitment of: The professor involved many students in the disarmament movement.Her husband became involved with another woman.

  9. to preoccupy or absorb fully (usually used passively or reflexively): You are much too involved with the problem to see it clearly.

  10. to envelop or enfold, as if with a wrapping.

  11. to swallow up, engulf, or overwhelm.

    • Archaic. to roll, surround, or shroud, as in a wrapping.

    • to roll up on itself; wind spirally; coil; wreathe.

Origin of involve

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English involven, from Latin involvere “to roll in or up,” equivalent to in- in-2 + volvere “to roll”; see revolve

synonym study For involve

6, 7, 9. Involve, entangle, implicate imply getting a person connected or bound up with something from which it is difficult to be freed. To involve is to bring more or less deeply into something, especially of a complicated, embarrassing, or troublesome nature: I'd rather not to involve someone else in my debt. To entangle (usually passive or reflexive) is to involve so deeply in a tangle as to confuse and make helpless: The candidate tended to entangle himself in a mass of contradictory statements. To implicate is to connect a person with something discreditable or wrong: She was implicated in a plot to assassinate the governor.

Other words for involve

Opposites for involve

Other words from involve

  • in·volve·ment, noun
  • in·volv·er, noun
  • in·ter·in·volve, verb (used with object), in·ter·in·volved, in·ter·in·volv·ing.
  • o·ver·in·volve, verb (used with object), o·ver·in·volved, o·ver·in·volv·ing.
  • pre·in·volve, verb (used with object), pre·in·volved, pre·in·volv·ing.
  • re·in·volve, verb (used with object), re·in·volved, re·in·volv·ing. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use involve in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for involve


/ (ɪnˈvɒlv) /

  1. to include or contain as a necessary part: the task involves hard work

  2. to have an effect on; spread to: the investigation involved many innocent people

  1. (often passive; usually foll by in or with) to concern or associate significantly: many people were involved in the crime

  2. (often passive) to make complicated; tangle: the situation was further involved by her disappearance

  3. rare, often poetic to wrap or surround

  4. maths obsolete to raise to a specified power

Origin of involve

C14: from Latin involvere to roll in, surround, from in- ² + volvere to roll

Derived forms of involve

  • involvement, noun
  • involver, noun

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with involve


see get involved with.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.