Engage means to bind, catch, or involve. If your sink is stopped up, engage, or hire, a plumber to fix it. Otherwise the smell of rotten food in the garbage disposal will engage your attention (in a bad way).

Engage comes from a French word for pledge. If you agree to marry your sweetheart, you are engaged to marry. If you engage the kid next door to water your plants, she will expect to be paid for it. Engagement is also used to talk about war or conflict. An army engages its enemy in battle, just as you might engage in debate with a traffic cop over whether the light was yellow or red.

Definitions of engage
  1. verb
    consume all of one's attention or time
    synonyms: absorb, engross, occupy
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    occupy or engage the interest of
    engage fully
    hold (someone's attention)
    type of:
    excite the curiosity of; engage the interest of
  2. verb
    engage for service under a term of contract
    synonyms: charter, hire, lease, rent, take
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    type of:
    acquire, get
    come into the possession of something concrete or abstract
  3. verb
    hire for work or assistance
    engage aid, help, services, or support”
    synonyms: enlist
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    seek to employ
    type of:
    procure, secure
    get by special effort
  4. verb
    engage or hire for work
    synonyms: employ, hire
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    can, dismiss, displace, fire, force out, give notice, give the axe, give the sack, sack, send away, terminate
    terminate the employment of; discharge from an office or position
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    hire more workers than are necessary
    appoint someone to (a position or a job)
    hire for work on a ship
    contract, sign, sign on, sign up
    engage by written agreement
    employ scabs or strike breakers in
    farm out, job, subcontract
    arranged for contracted work to be done by others
    contract out
    assign a job to someone outside one's own business
  5. verb
    ask to represent; of legal counsel
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    type of:
    employ, hire
    engage or hire for work
  6. verb
    carry out or participate in an activity; be involved in
    “They engaged in a discussion”
    synonyms: prosecute, pursue
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    commit, practice
    engage in or perform
    engage at close quarters
    engage in political activities
    work toward the passage of some legislation by exchanging political favors such as trading votes
    type of:
    act, move
    perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)
  7. verb
    carry on (wars, battles, or campaigns)
    synonyms: wage
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    offer, provide, put up
    mount or put up
    type of:
    contend, fight, struggle
    be engaged in a fight; carry on a fight
  8. verb
    get caught
    “make sure the gear is engaged
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    become free
    become rigid or immoveable
    type of:
    make physical contact with, come in contact with
  9. verb
    keep engaged
    engaged the gears”
    synonyms: lock, mesh, operate
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    disengage, withdraw
    release from something that holds fast, connects, or entangles
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    flip, switch, throw
    cause to go on or to be engaged or set in operation
    keep partially engaged by slightly depressing a pedal with the foot
    switch on, turn on
    cause to operate by flipping a switch
    cut, switch off, turn off, turn out
    cause to stop operating by disengaging a switch
    type of:
    displace, move
    cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense
  10. verb
    give to in marriage
    synonyms: affiance, betroth, plight
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    type of:
    make a vow; promise
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