engage vs enlist what difference

what is difference between engage and enlist


Alternative forms

  • ingage (obsolete)


From Middle English engagen, from Old French engagier (to pledge, engage), from Frankish *anwadjōn (to pledge), from Proto-Germanic *an-, *andi- + Proto-Germanic *wadjōną (to pledge, secure), from Proto-Germanic *wadją (pledge, guarantee), from Proto-Indo-European *wedʰ- (to pledge, redeem a pledge; guarantee, bail), equivalent to en- +‎ gage. Cognate with Old English anwedd (pledge, security), Old English weddian (to engage, covenant, undertake), German wetten (to bet, wager), Icelandic veðja (to wager). More at wed.


  • IPA(key): /ɪnˈɡeɪdʒ/, /ɛnˈɡeɪdʒ/
  • Rhymes: -eɪdʒ


engage (third-person singular simple present engages, present participle engaging, simple past and past participle engaged)

  1. (heading, transitive) To interact socially.
    1. To engross or hold the attention of; to keep busy or occupied.
    2. To draw into conversation.
      • the difficult task of engaging him in conversation
    3. To attract, to please; (archaic) to fascinate or win over (someone).
      • Good nature engages everybody to him.
  2. (heading) To interact antagonistically.
    1. (transitive) To enter into conflict with (an enemy).
      • 1698-1699, Edmund Ludlow, Memoirs
        a favourable opportunity of engaging the enemy
    2. (intransitive) To enter into battle.
  3. (heading) To interact contractually.
    1. (transitive) To arrange to employ or use (a worker, a space, etc.).
    2. (intransitive) To guarantee or promise (to do something).
    3. (transitive) To bind through legal or moral obligation (to do something, especially to marry) (usually in passive).
    4. (obsolete, transitive) To pledge, pawn (one’s property); to put (something) at risk or on the line; to mortgage (houses, land).
      • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, II.vii:
        Thou that doest liue in later times, must wage / Thy workes for wealth, and life for gold engage.
  4. (heading) To interact mechanically.
    1. To mesh or interlock (of machinery, especially a clutch).
    2. (engineering, transitive) To come into gear with.
      The teeth of one cogwheel engage those of another.
  5. (intransitive) To enter into (an activity), to participate (construed with in).
  6. (transitive, obsolete) To entangle.


  • (to cause to mesh or interlock): disengage

Derived terms

  • engagement
  • disengage
  • disengagement




  • IPA(key): /ɑ̃.ɡaʒ/



  1. first-person singular present indicative of engager
  2. third-person singular present indicative of engager
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of engager
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of engager
  5. second-person singular imperative of engager


  • gagnée



en- +‎ list


  • IPA(key): /ɪnˈlɪst/
  • Rhymes: -ɪst


enlist (third-person singular simple present enlists, present participle enlisting, simple past and past participle enlisted)

  1. (transitive) To enter on a list; to enroll; to register.
  2. (intransitive) To voluntarily join a cause or organization, especially military service.
  3. (transitive) To recruit the aid or membership of others.
  4. (transitive) To secure; to obtain.


  • (enter on a list): enscroll; see also Thesaurus:enlist

Coordinate terms

(voluntarily join a cause or organization):

  • conscript
  • draft



enlist (plural enlists)

  1. One who is enlisted, usually in a military service.
    • 2006, USA International Business Publications, Taiwan National Security And Defense Law And Regulations Handbook
      [] 19.17% are enlisted officers (including cadets and midshipmen with BA degrees and associate degrees, officers Designated Military Occupational Specialty, the enlists converting into conscripts], officers from ROTCs) ; 0.31% are conscripted []


  • ELINTs, SILENT, Teslin, inlets, leints, lets in, listen, silent, tinsel

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social Share Buttons and Icons powered by Ultimatelysocial