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engage in small talk

to talk only about minor matters rather than important matters or personal matters. All the people at the party were engaging in small talk. They chatted about the weather and otherwise engaged in small talk.
See also: engage, small, talk

engage someone as something

to hire someone to serve as something. Yes, I engaged her as a secretary just last month. Will you engage me as a general troubleshooter?
See also: engage

engage someone or something in something

1. . to make someone or a group busy doing something. She knew how to engage the boys in useful activity. The den mother engaged the scouts in a woodworking project.
2. to draw someone or something into something. The enemy sought to engage our troops in battle but failed. I tried to engage Gerald in conversation.
See also: engage

engage someone to someone

to betroth someone to someone. Her parents engaged her to the man she ended up marrying. She engaged herself to some guy she met at a singles bar.
See also: engage

engage in

1. To participate in some activity: The soldiers engaged in combat. The law students engaged in a mock trial.
2. To involve or draw someone or something into some activity: I engaged the new student in conversation. I was engaged in deep thought when the fire alarm went off.
See also: engage
References in classic literature ?
In Bond Street especially, where much of their business lay, her eyes were in constant inquiry; and in whatever shop the party were engaged, her mind was equally abstracted from every thing actually before them, from all that interested and occupied the others.
Ten thousand men had been engaged in that titanic struggle, and upon the field of battle lay three thousand dead.
The following morning, awaking rather late, I perceived the whole of Marheyo's family busily engaged in preparing for the festival.
Ramsay Crooks, a young man, a native of Scotland, who had served under the Northwest Company, and been engaged in trading expeditions upon his individual account, among the tribes of the Missouri.
Since then four days have passed, during which we have engaged two large canoes from the Indians, made of so light a material (skins over a bamboo framework) that we should be able to carry them round any obstacle.
Father," returned Prince with great submission, "I love this young lady, and we are engaged.
Before Zat Arras had approached near enough to fire a shot we were again hotly engaged with the thern fleet, and as soon as he drew near he too commenced to pour a terrific fusillade of heavy shot into us.
I can hardly believe it--that you should be engaged without my knowing it--without your father's telling me.
Was it one of those nightmare things in which you find yourself engaged or married to some one you hate or don't know, without the slightest idea how it ever came about?
Hamilton Fynes who came over by the Lusitania, and who had certainly engaged rooms in this hotel, but he unfortunately, it seems, met with an accident on his way from Liverpool.
If any visitors come before the time," Hardyman said to his servant, "tell them I am engaged at the stables.
engaged myself, what right have you to complain of it?
A FISHERMAN, engaged in his calling, made a very successful cast and captured a great haul of fish.
And the end of it is that I am here at Gleninch, engaged on my own sole responsibility (with good Mr.
Jones now finding himself engaged with two, thought it necessary to rid himself of one of his antagonists as soon as possible.