To involve means to connect. When you get involved in the Spanish Club, you attend meetings and events. If doing math well is involved in understanding advanced chemistry, that means it's a necessary part of it.

When someone is very involved, it means they are engaged or connected to a lot of activities. When someone is self-involved, all they connect with is him or herself. If getting ice cream involves walking a mile to the ice cream shop, the exercise offsets the indulgence. When no exercise is involved, it's less healthy.

Definitions of involve
  1. verb
    contain as a part
    “Dinner at Joe's always involves at least six courses”
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    type of:
    have as a part; be made up out of
  2. verb
    have as a necessary feature
    “This decision involves many changes”
    synonyms: imply
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    be necessarily associated with or result in or involve
    type of:
    feature, have
    have as a feature
  3. verb
    require as useful, just, or proper
    synonyms: ask, call for, demand, necessitate, need, postulate, require, take
    claim, exact, take
    take as an undesirable consequence of some event or state of affairs
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    eliminate, obviate, rid of
    do away with
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    claim, exact, take
    take as an undesirable consequence of some event or state of affairs
    require to be in a certain grammatical case, voice, or mood
    require a specified depth for floating
    require to lose, suffer, or sacrifice
    cry for, cry out for
    need badly or desperately
    necessitate or exact
  4. verb
    engage as a participant
    “Don't involve me in your family affairs!”
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    drag, drag in, embroil, sweep, sweep up, tangle
    force into some kind of situation, condition, or course of action
    entangle, mire
    type of:
    admit, include, let in
    allow participation in or the right to be part of; permit to exercise the rights, functions, and responsibilities of
  5. verb
    connect closely and often incriminatingly
    synonyms: affect, regard
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    bring into intimate and incriminating connection
    type of:
    bear on, come to, concern, have-to doe with, pertain, refer, relate, touch, touch on
    be relevant to
  6. verb
    occupy or engage the interest of
    “His story completely involved me during the entire afternoon”
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    type of:
    absorb, engage, engross, occupy
    consume all of one's attention or time
  7. verb
    make complex or intricate or complicated
    “The situation was rather involved
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    type of:
    complicate, elaborate, rarify, refine
    make more complex, intricate, or richer
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