engineer [en-juh-neer] Word Origin noun
- a person trained and skilled in the design, construction, and use of engines or machines, or in any of various branches of engineering: a mechanical engineer; a civil engineer.
- a person who operates or is in charge of an engine.
- Also called locomotive engineer. Railroads. a person who operates or is in charge of a locomotive.
- a member of an army, navy, or air force specially trained in engineering work.
- Digital Technology. a person skilled in the design and programming of computer systems: a software engineer; a web engineer.
- a skillful manager: a political engineer.
verb (used with object)
- to plan, construct, or manage as an engineer: He’s engineered several big industrial projects.
- to design or create using the techniques or methods of engineering: The motor has been engineered to run noiselessly.
- to arrange, manage, or carry through by skillful or artful contrivance: He certainly engineered the election campaign beautifully.
Origin of engineer 1350–1400; engine + -eer; replacing Middle English engin(e)our Anglo-French engineor Old French engigneor Medieval Latin ingeniātor, equivalent to ingeniā(re) to design, devise (verbal derivative of ingenium; see engine) + Latin -tor -tor Related formssub·en·gi·neer, nounun·en·gi·neered, adjectivewell-en·gi·neered, adjective British Dictionary definitions for well-engineered engineer noun
- a person trained in any branch of the profession of engineering
- the originator or manager of a situation, system, etc
- a mechanic; person who repairs or services machines
- US and Canadian the driver of a railway locomotive
- an officer responsible for a ship’s engines
- Informal name: sapper a member of the armed forces, esp the army, trained in engineering and construction work
- to originate, cause, or plan in a clever or devious mannerhe engineered the minister’s downfall
- to design, plan, or construct as a professional engineer
Word Origin for engineer C14: enginer, from Old French engigneor, from engignier to contrive, ultimately from Latin ingenium skill, talent; see engine Word Origin and History for well-engineered engineer n.
early 14c., “constructor of military engines,” from Old French engigneor, from Late Latin ingeniare (see engine); general sense of “inventor, designer” is recorded from early 15c.; civil sense, in reference to public works, is recorded from c.1600. Meaning “locomotive driver” is first attested 1832, American English. A “maker of engines” in ancient Greece was a mekhanopoios.