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engage (v.)

early 15c., "to pledge" (something, as security for payment), from Old French engagier "bind (by promise or oath), pledge; pawn" (12c.), from phrase en gage "under pledge," from en "in" (see en- (1)) + gage "pledge," through Frankish from Proto-Germanic *wadiare "pledge" (see wed). It shows the common evolution of Germanic -w- to central French -g- (see gu-).

Meaning "attract and occupy the attention of" is from 1640s; that of "employ, secure for aid, employment or use" is from 1640s, from notion of "binding as by a pledge;" meaning "enter into combat or contest with" is from 1640s. Specific sense of "promise to marry" is 1610s (implied in engaged). Machinery sense is from 1884. Also from the French word are German engagiren, Dutch engageren, Danish engagere.

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pre-engage (v.)

also preengage, "bind in advance by promise or agreement," 1640s, from pre- "before" + engage (v.). Related: Pre-engaged; pre-engaging; pre-engagement.

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engaging (adj.)
"interesting, winning, attractive," 1670s, present-participle adjective from engage. Related: Engagingly.
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engaged (adj.)
"affianced, betrothed," 1610s, past-participle adjective from engage. Of telephone lines from 1891.
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engagement (n.)

1620s, "formal promise," from engage + -ment. Meaning "a battle or fight between armies or fleets" is from 1660s; sense of "state of having entered into a promise of marriage" is from 1742; meaning "appointment" is from 1806. Engagement ring attested by 1840.

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disengage (v.)

c. 1600 in figurative sense "loosen from that which entangles;" 1660s in literal sense of "detach, release from connection," from dis- "do the opposite of" + engage (q.v.). Intransitive sense of "withdraw, become separated" is from 1640s. Related: Disengaged; disengaging.

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zouk (n.)
Creole French, "party," from zouker "engage in unrestrained social activity."
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duel (v.)

"engage in single combat, fight a duel," 1640s, see duel (n.). Related: Dueled; dueling; duelling.

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revolute (v.)

"to start or engage in a revolution," 1890, a back-formation from revolution. Related: Revoluted; revoluting.

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preoccupy (v.)

1560s, "engage (the attention of) beforehand, engross in advance of or to the exclusion of other things," from pre- "before" + occupy. Sense of "occupy before others" is attested from 1620s. Related: Preoccupied; preoccupying.

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