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Alternative forms[edit]


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?)
      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?)
      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?)
      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.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Milton?)
      He knows / His end with mine involved.
    • (Can we date this quote by Tillotson?)
      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.
    • (Can we date this quote by Alexander Pope?)
      The gathering number, as it moves along, / Involves a vast involuntary throng.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Milton?)
      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?)
      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 also[edit]





  1. second-person singular present active imperative of involvō