late 14c., "make a deep, heavy, continuous sound," also "move with a rolling, thundering sound," also "create disorder and confusion," probably related to Middle Dutch rommelen "to rumble," Middle High German rummeln, Old Norse rymja "to shout, roar," all of imitative origin. Slang sense of "engage in a gang-fight" is by 1959. Related: Rumbled; rumbling.
mid-15c., "to take as spouse, marry," from Old French espouser "marry, take in marriage, join in marriage" (11c., Modern French épouser), from Latin sponsare, past participle of spondere "make an offering, perform a rite, promise secretly," hence "to engage oneself by ritual act" (see sponsor (n.)). Extended sense of "adopt, embrace" a cause, party, etc., is from 1620s. Related: Espoused; espouses; espousing. For initial e-, see e-.
c. 1300, dalien, "to speak seriously, commune;" late 14c., "to talk intimately, converse politely," possibly from Anglo-French dalier "to amuse oneself," Old French dalier, dailer, which is of uncertain origin. Sense of "waste time" in any manner emerged by late 14c.; that of "to play, sport, frolic; flirt, engage in amorous exchanges" is from mid-15c. Meaning "to linger, loiter, delay (intransitive)" is from 1530s. Related: Dallied; dallying.
late 14c., coupen, "to quarrel;" c. 1400, "come to blows, deliver blows, engage in combat," from Old French couper, earlier colper "hit, punch," from colp "a blow" (see coup).
The meaning evolved by 18c. into "handle (successfully), deal with," perhaps influenced by now-obsolete cope "to traffic, bargain for, buy" (15c.-17c.), a word in North Sea trade, from the Flemish version of the Germanic source of English cheap, and compare Copenhagen. Related: Coped; coping.
1580s, "to ponder, think abstractly, engage in mental contemplation" (intransitive), probably a back-formation from meditation, or else from Latin meditatus, past participle of meditari "to meditate, think over, reflect, consider," frequentative form of PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures." From 1590s as "to plan in the mind," also "to employ the mind in thought or contemplation," especially in a religious way. Related: Meditated; meditating.
c. 1300, obligen, "to bind by oath, put under moral or legal obligation, devote," from Old French obligier "engage one's faith, commit (oneself), pledge" (13c.), from Latin obligare "to bind, bind up, bandage," figuratively "put under obligation," from ob "to" (see ob-) + ligare "to bind," from PIE root *leig- "to tie, bind." Main modern meaning "to make (someone) indebted by conferring a benefit or kindness" is from 1560s.
mid-12c., "authorized representative of the Pope," from Old French legat and directly from Latin legatus "ambassador, envoy," originally "provided with a commission," past participle of legare "send as a deputy, send with a commission, charge, bequeath," possibly literally "engage by contract" and related to lex (genitive legis) "contract, law," from PIE root *leg- (1) "to collect, gather." General sense of "ambassador, delegate, messenger of a state or authority" is from late 14c. in English. Related: Legator; legatee; legatine.
"force into service," especially military or naval service, 1570s, alteration (by association with press (v.1)) of prest (mid-14c.) "engage by loan, pay in advance," especially in reference to money paid to a soldier or sailor on enlisting, from Latin praestare "to stand out, stand before; fulfill, perform, provide," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm." The verb is related to praesto (adv.) "ready, available." Related: Pressed; pressing.