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Alternative formsEdit


Borrowed from Latin involvo, involvere.



involve (third-person singular simple present involves, present participle involving, simple past and past participle involved)

  1. (archaic) To roll or fold up; to wind round; to entwine.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Milton as well as title, page, and other details?)
      Some of serpent kind [] involved / Their snaky folds.
  2. (archaic) To envelop completely; to surround; to cover; to hide.
    to involve in darkness or obscurity
    • (Can we date this quote by John Milton as well as title, page, and other details?)
      And leave a singèd bottom all involved / With stench and smoke.
  3. To complicate or make intricate, as in grammatical structure.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Locke as well as title, page, and other details?)
      Involved discourses.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 17, in The China Governess[1]:
      The face which emerged was not reassuring. […]. He was not a mongol but there was a deficiency of a sort there, and it was not made more pretty by a latter-day hair cut which involved eccentrically long elf-locks and oiled black curls.
  4. (archaic) To connect with something as a natural or logical consequence or effect; to include necessarily; to imply.
    • 1674, John Milton, Paradise Lost Book II
      He knows / His end with mine involved.
    • 17th century, John Tillotson, Sermon
      The contrary necessarily involves a contradiction.
    • 2013 July-August, Sarah Glaz, “Ode to Prime Numbers”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 4:
      Some poems, echoing the purpose of early poetic treatises on scientific principles, attempt to elucidate the mathematical concepts that underlie prime numbers. Others play with primes’ cultural associations. Still others derive their structure from mathematical patterns involving primes.
  5. To take in; to gather in; to mingle confusedly; to blend or merge.
    • 1728-1743, Alexander Pope, The Dunciad
      The gathering number, as it moves along,
      Involves a vast involuntary throng.
    • 1674, John Milton, Paradise Lost Book II
      Earth with hell / To mingle and involve.
  6. To envelop, enfold, entangle.
    to involve a person in debt or misery
    He's involved in the crime.
  7. To engage (someone) to participate in a task.
    How can we involve the audience more during the show?
    By getting involved in her local community, Mary met lots of people and also helped make it a nicer place to live.
    • Sir (Can we date this quote by Walter Scott as well as title, page, and other details?)
      Involved in a deep study.
  8. (mathematics) To raise to any assigned power; to multiply, as a quantity, into itself a given number of times.
    a quantity involved to the third or fourth power



See alsoEdit