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engage (one) as (something)
To hire someone for a particular role or job. I thought they were just going to engage me as a file clerk, but because they needed help with data entry, I wound up doing that instead.
engage (one) in (something)
1. To do some task or activity. In this usage, "engage in" is usually a set phrase. Dad is engaged in fixing the car, so he can't talk right now.
2. To include or involve one in something. Phil is always making snide comments, but I refuse to let him engage me in an argument.
3. To occupy one with a task or activity. See if you can engage the kids in a game this afternoon so that I can get some work done.
engage (someone) to (someone)
To betroth oneself or someone to someone else; to enter two people into an engagement to be married. I refuse to let my family engage me to a man I've never met before.
engage in small talk
To chat with someone, usually a stranger or acquaintance, about benign topics (such as the weather or one's employment). Because Tom and Joe had never met before, they engaged in small talk by the appetizers. If you think that girl's pretty, go over and engage in small talk with her.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
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?
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.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.