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From Middle English engineour, a borrowing from Old French engigneor, from engin or from Medieval Latin ingeniator (one who creates or one who uses an engine), from ingenium (nature, native talen, skill), from in (in) + gignere (to beget, produce), Old Latin genere; see ingenious hence "one who produces or generates [new] things". Sometimes erroneously linked with engine +‎ -eer.



engineer (plural engineers)

  1. A person who is qualified or professionally engaged in any branch of engineering.
  2. (Philippines) A title given to an engineer.
  3. (chiefly US) A person who controls motion of substance (such as a locomotive).

Usage notes[edit]

  • Adjectives often applied to "engineer": mechanical, electrical, civil, architectural, environmental, mechatronics, industrial, optical, nuclear, structural, chemical, military, electronic, professional, chartered, licensed, certified, qualified.


Related terms[edit]


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

  1. (transitive) To design, construct or manage something as an engineer.
  2. (transitive) To alter or construct something by means of genetic engineering.
  3. (transitive) To plan or achieve some goal by contrivance or guile; to wangle or finagle.
  4. (transitive) To control motion of substance; to change motion.


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