English edit

Etymology edit

The noun is derived from:[1]

The verb is derived from the noun.[3]

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

engineer (plural engineers)

  1. (military, also figuratively)
    1. A soldier engaged in designing or constructing military works for attack or defence, or other engineering works.
      • c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, The Tragicall Historie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke: [] (Second Quarto), London: [] I[ames] R[oberts] for N[icholas] L[ing] [], published 1604, →OCLC, [Act III, scene iv]:
        For tis the ſport to haue the enginer / Hoiſt with his ovvne petar, an't ſhall goe hard / But I vvill delue one yeard belovve their mines, / And blovve them at the Moone: []
        For it's amusing to have the engineer / Hoisted into the sky with his own explosive, and if I'm lucky / I will dig one yard below their mines, / And blow them towards the Moon: []
      • 1625, Edmund Scot, “A Discourse of Iaua, and of the First English Factorie there, with Diuers Indian, English, and Dutch Occurrents, []”, in [Samuel] Purchas, Purchas His Pilgrimes. [], 1st part, London: [] William Stansby for Henrie Fetherstone, [], →OCLC, 3rd book, § IIII, page 173:
        Novv he began another Trade, and became an Ingenor, hauing got eight Fire-brands of hell more to him, onely of purpoſe to ſet our houſe a fire.
      • 1627, Michaell Drayton [i.e., Michael Drayton], “The Battaile of Agin Court”, in The Battaile of Agincourt. [], London: [] A[ugustine] M[atthews] for VVilliam Lee, [], published 1631, →OCLC, page 12:
        Cannons vpon their Carriage mounted are, / VVhole Battery Fraunce muſt feele vpon her VValls, / The Engineer prouiding the Petar, / To breake the ſtrong Percullice, and the Balls / Of VVild fire deuis'd to throvv from farre, / To burne to ground their Pallaces and Halls: []
      • 1794 May 28, Edmund Burke, “Trial of Warren Hastings, Esq. Wednesday, 28th May 1794. First Day of Reply.”, in [Walker King], editor, The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, new edition, volume XV, London: [] [Luke Hansard & Sons] for C[harles] & J[ohn] Rivington, [], published 1827, →OCLC, pages 63–64:
        But your Lordships must have heard with astonishment, that, upon points of law, relative to the tenure of lands, instead of producing any law document or authority on the usages and local customs of the country, he has referred to officers in the army, colonels of artillery and engineers, to young gentlemen just come from school, not above three or four years in the country.
      • 1866, C[harles] Kingsley, “How Earl Godwin’s Widow Came to St. Omer”, in Hereward the Wake, “Last of the English.” [], volume I, London, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: Macmillan and Co., →OCLC, page 341:
        And she began praising Hereward's valour, his fame, his eloquence, his skill as a general and engineer; and when he suggested, smiling, that he was an exile and an outlaw, she insisted he was all the fitter from that very fact.
    2. (obsolete) A soldier in charge of operating a weapon; an artilleryman, a gunner.
      • 1599, [Thomas Heywood], “The Second Part []”, in The First and Second Partes of King Edvvard the Fourth. [], London: [] I. W. for Iohn Oxenbridge, [], →OCLC; reprinted Philadelphia, Pa., New York, N.Y.: The Rosenbach Company, 1922, →OCLC:
        This is hard welcome, but it was not you, / At whom the fatal enginer did ayme, / My breaſt the levell was, though you the marke, / In which conſpiracie anſwere me Duke, / Is not thy ſoule as guiltie as the Earles?
      • [1633], George Herbert, “The Church-porch”, in [Nicholas Ferrar], editor, The Temple: Sacred Poems, and Private Ejaculations, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: [] Thomas Buck and Roger Daniel; and are to be sold by Francis Green, [], →OCLC; reprinted London: Elliot Stock, [], 1885, →OCLC, page 9:
        Wit's an unruly engine, wildly ſtriking / Sometimes a friend, ſometimes the engineer.
      • 1716 March 6 (Gregorian calendar), Joseph Addison, “The Free-holder: No. 19. Friday, February 24. [1716.]”, in The Works of the Right Honourable Joseph Addison, Esq; [], volume IV, London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], published 1721, →OCLC, page 426:
        An Author who points his ſatyr at a great man, is to be looked upon in the ſame view with the engineer who ſignalized himſelf by this ungenerous practice.
      • 1855 July 4, Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.: [James and Andrew Rome], →OCLC, page v, column 1:
        In war he [the poet] is the most deadly force of the war. Who recruits him recruits horse and foot … he fetches parks of artillery the best that engineer ever knew.
  2. (by extension)
    1. A person professionally engaged in the technical design and construction of large-scale private and public works such as bridges, buildings, harbours, railways, roads, etc.; a civil engineer.
    2. Originally, a person engaged in designing, constructing, or maintaining engines or machinery; now (more generally), a person qualified or professionally engaged in any branch of engineering, or studying to do so.
      • 1598, John Florio, “Macanopoietico”, in A Worlde of Words, or Most Copious, and Exact Dictionarie in Italian and English, [], London: [] Arnold Hatfield for Edw[ard] Blount, →OCLC, page 209, column 3:
        Macanopoietico, an inginer, an engine-maker.
      • 1623 November 8 (Gregorian calendar; first performance), Thomas Middleton, “The Triumphs of Integrity”, in A[rthur] H[enry] Bullen, editor, The Works of Thomas Middleton [] (The English Dramatists), volume VII, London: John C. Nimmo [], published 1886, →OCLC, page 391:
        [N]ear St. Laurence-Lane his lordship receives an entertainment from an unparalleled masterpiece of art, called the Crystal Sanctuary, styled by the name of the Temple of Integrity, [] and more to express the invention and the art of the engineer, as also for motion, variety, and the content of the spectators, this Crystal Temple is made to open in many parts, at fit and convenient times, and upon occasion of the speech; []
        The spelling has been modernized.
      • 2015 November 5, Ian Bogost, “Programmers: Stop Calling Yourselves Engineers”, in The Atlantic[1]:
        Somehow, everybody who isn’t in sales, marketing, or design became an engineer. “We’re hiring engineers,” read startup websites, which could mean anything from Javascript programmers to roboticists.
    3. A person trained to operate an engine; an engineman.
      1. (chiefly historical) A person who operates a steam engine; specifically (nautical), a person employed to operate the steam engine in the engine room of a ship.
        • 1856, R[alph] W[aldo] Emerson, “Wealth”, in English Traits, Boston, Mass.: Phillips, Sampson, and Company, →OCLC, pages 170–171:
          The machinery [the steam engine] has proved, like the balloon, unmanageable, and flies away with the aeronaut. Steam, from the first, hissed and screamed to warn him; it was dreadful with its explosion, and crushed the engineer. The machinist has wrought and watched, engineers and firemen without number have been sacrificed in learning to tame and guide the monster.
        • 1892, Walt Whitman, “Song of the Answerer”, in Leaves of Grass [], Philadelphia, Pa.: David McKay, publisher, [], →OCLC, part 1, page 136:
          The engineer, the deck-hand on the great lakes, or on the Mississippi or St. Lawrence or Sacramento, or Hudson or Paumanok sound, claims him.
        • 1902 January–March, Joseph Conrad, “Typhoon”, in George R. Halkett, editor, The Pall Mall Magazine, volume XXVI, London: Printed by Hazell, Watson & Viney, →OCLC, chapter IV, page 226, column 2:
          One of the stokers was disabled, the others had given in, the second engineer and the donkey-man were firing-up. The third engineer was standing by the steam-valve. The engines were being tended by hand.
      2. (US, firefighting) A person who drives or operates a fire engine.
      3. (chiefly US, rail transport) A person who drives or operates a locomotive; a train driver.
    4. Preceded by a qualifying word: a person who uses abilities or knowledge to manipulate events or people.
      a political engineer
      • 1727, [Daniel Defoe], “Of the Present Pretences of the Magicians: How They Defend Themselves; and Some Examples of Their Practice”, in A System of Magick; or, A History of the Black Art. [], London: [] J. Roberts [], →OCLC, page 319:
        Now that I may not ſeem to paſs my Cenſure raſhly, I deſire that my more intelligent Readers will pleaſe to reduce the following things into Meaning, if they can, and favour us with the Interpretation; being ſome particular Account of the Life of this famous, religious Ingineer, for I know not what elſe to call him, and the Titles of ſome of his Books.
    5. (often derogatory) A person who formulates plots or schemes; a plotter, a schemer.
      • 1593, Gabriel Harvey, Pierces Supererogation: Or A New Prayse of the Old Asse, London: [] Iohn Wolfe, →OCLC; republished as John Payne Collier, editor, Pierces Supererogation: Or A New Prayse of the Old Asse. A Preparative to Certaine Larger Discourses, Intituled Nashes S. Fame (Miscellaneous Tracts. Temp. Eliz. & Jac. I; no. 8), [London: [s.n.], 1870], →OCLC, page 10:
        But the trimme ſilke-worme I looked for (as it were in a proper contempt of common fineneſſe) prooveth but a ſilly glow-woorme, and the dreadfull enginer of phraſes, in steede of thunderboltes, ſhooteth nothing but dogboltes and catboltes, and the homelieſt boltes of rude folly: []
      • 1603 (first performance; published 1605), Beniamin Ionson [i.e., Ben Jonson], “Seianus his Fall. A Tragœdie. []”, in The Workes of Beniamin Ionson (First Folio), London: [] Will[iam] Stansby, published 1616, →OCLC, Act I, page 360:
        No, Silius, wee are no good inginers; / VVe vvant the fine arts, & their thriuing vſe, / Should make vs grac'd, or fauour'd of the times: / [] / VVe burne with no black ſecrets, vvhich can make / Vs deare to the pale authors; or liue fear'd / Of their ſtill vvaking iealouſies, to raiſe / Our ſelues a fortune, by ſubuerting theirs.
      • 1903 October, Jack London, “Coronation Day”, in The People of the Abyss, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC, page 144:
        [T]he fighting men of England, masters of destruction, engineers of death!

Hyponyms edit

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Descendants edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb edit

engineer (third-person singular simple present engineers, present participle engineering, simple past and past participle engineered)

  1. (transitive)
    1. To employ one's abilities and knowledge as an engineer to design, construct, and/or maintain (something, such as a machine or a structure), usually for industrial or public use.
    2. (specifically) To use genetic engineering to alter or construct (a DNA sequence), or to alter (an organism).
      • 2018, Timothy R. Jennings, The Aging Brain, →ISBN, page 41:
        In an interesting animal study, scientists engineered mice with a specific gene defect that caused memory and learning problems.
    3. To plan or achieve (a goal) by contrivance or guile; to finagle, to wangle.
  2. (intransitive)
    1. To formulate plots or schemes; to plot, to scheme.
      Synonym: machinate
    2. (rare) To work as an engineer.
      • 1870, Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Works and Days”, in Society and Solitude. Twelve Chapters, Boston, Mass.: Fields, Osgood, & Co., →OCLC, page 144:
        What of the grand tools with which we engineer, like kobolds and enchanters,—tunnelling Alps, canalling the American Isthmus, piercing the Arabian desert?

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

References edit

  1. ^ engineer, n.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2021; engineer, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  2. ^ enǧinǒur, -er, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  3. ^ engineer, v.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2019; engineer, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit