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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
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.