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Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Latin involvō.



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

  1. (transitive) To comprise or include; to have as a related part.
    My job involves forecasting economic trends.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  2. (transitive) To cause or engage (someone or something) to participate or to become connected or implicated.
    How can we involve the audience more during the show?
    By involving herself in her local community, Mary met lots of people and also helped make it a nicer place to live.
    I don't want to involve him in my personal affairs.
    We are always trying to involve new technology in our products.
  3. To envelop, enfold, entangle.
    to involve a person in debt or misery
  4. (largely obsolete, transitive) To complicate or make intricate.
    • 1848, Thomas Milner, The Gallery of Nature: A Pictorial and Descriptive Tour Through Creation, page 355 [2]
      The distribution and configuration of the land, together with the influence of the winds, greatly involve the problem of the tides, and render it one of the most difficult in the whole range of physics.
    • 1859, Army Medical Department: Statistical, Sanitary and Medical Reports for the year 1859, page 169 [3]
      The sewerage and drainage of the town of Gibraltar, being upon a very defective system, greatly involve the sanitary welfare of the troops, many of the barrack buildings being immediately within the influences of such evil.
    • 1878, The Engineer, Volume 46, page 294 [4]
      Before leaving this branch of our subject, it may be well to point out that a young man who possesses the power of explaining himself clearly, without stammering and stumbling, and involving his sentences, always has a great advantage on his side.
  5. (largely obsolete) To take in; to gather in; to mingle, blend or merge.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book II”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
      To confound the race
      Of mankind in one pool, and Earth with Hell
      To mingle and involve.
    • 1728, [Alexander Pope], “(please specify the page)”, in The Dunciad. An Heroic Poem. [], Dublin; London: [] A. Dodd, OCLC 1033416756:
      The gathering number, as it moves along,
      Involves a vast involuntary throng.
    • 1794, The Trial of Thomas Hardy for High Treason, page 344:
      There is no manner of doubt that upon indictment for a conspiracy, be the conspiracy to do one act, or another act, or be the quality of the act doe, when it is done, what it may, that as far as you can connect persons acting together towards one perpose, which purpose constitutes the crime, you may undoubtedly involve them together by evidence, but that is not the question here.
    • 1843, Tables exhibiting the law of mortality, page vii:
      The materials being thus combined, the next process was to involve them, so as to obtain the number exposed to the risk of mortality in each year of age, in order to ascertain the proportion of deaths;
  6. (mathematics, archaic) To raise to any assigned power; to multiply, as a quantity, into itself a given number of times.
    • 1814, Jermiah Day, An Introduction to Algebra:
      divide the first term of the remainder, by the first term of the root involved to the next inferiour power
    a quantity involved to the third or fourth power
  7. (archaic) To roll or fold up; to wind round; to entwine.
  8. (archaic) To envelop completely; to surround; to cover; to hide.
    to involve in darkness or obscurity
  9. (archaic) To connect with something as a natural or logical consequence or effect; to include necessarily; to imply.


Derived terms[edit]


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

See also[edit]





  1. second-person singular present active imperative of involvō