Definition of engineer in US English:



  • 1A person who designs, builds, or maintains engines, machines, or public works.

    • ‘The engineer designing the system needs to take into account a wide range of factors in order to assure the reliability of the electrical systems.’
    • ‘The students work with engineers and teachers to design, build and test a robot in just six weeks.’
    • ‘Originally, engineers thought the repairs could cost up to £300,000, but they have managed to reduce the figure to £88,000.’
    • ‘In designing this the engineers had to constantly keep in mind the acoustic requirements of the project.’
    • ‘Others, such as engineers who manage and maintain specific building systems or floors, should be brought in as appropriate.’
    • ‘In the early days of television, the engineers who designed and built TV picture tubes faced technical problems that caused them to make some compromises.’
    • ‘Online collaboration systems are designed to link the facility staff with architects, engineers, contractors and other members of the building team.’
    • ‘Indeed, engineers nowadays design and construct bridges so that oscillations remain strictly limited.’
    • ‘It requires a trained engineer to properly design each location.’
    • ‘There were also brilliant engineers among them who contributed to the development of new techniques.’
    • ‘This is because the engineers will design the structure of the ship with the safe assumption in mind that 99 of the time, the ships engines will be burning along, or at least very near to the direction of the ships momentum.’
    • ‘This guy is an engineer who designs and builds humanoid robots that are capable of standing and walking on their own, not just some guy who tinkers in his garage.’
    • ‘It is also a chance to get any repairs done and most engineers and ships carpenters are at present flat out trying to get boats back to sea.’
    • ‘That meant working closely with engineers and assemblers to build a simple user interface and limit production costs.’
    • ‘It was taking the concept and working it through with local councillors, planners, architects, engineers and accountants from genesis to creation.’
    • ‘Most startling of all are the exhaustive lengths to which their designers and engineers go to build safety into even the smallest component.’
    • ‘He will be returning to his home town, Kabul, along with a group of engineers, planners and architects, to play a vital role in rebuilding the city's culture.’
    • ‘The first design challenge the engineers confronted was constructing on the changeable soils.’
    • ‘Having confirmed the physical dimensions of the existing structure, the architects and engineers were able to begin designing the new dome.’
    • ‘This is important to the engineers who design and build products, because it gives them a tool to determine what the future costs will be.’
    designer, planner, builder, architect, producer, fabricator, developer, creator
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    1. 1.1 A person qualified in a branch of engineering, especially as a professional.
      ‘an aeronautical engineer’
      • ‘He is also an experienced and qualified audio engineer.’
      • ‘He is also trained as a nuclear engineer and nuclear submarine operator.’
      • ‘As an electronics engineer I used to build gadgets for my cars including battery strength indicators, lights-on warning alarms and even alarm systems themselves.’
      • ‘He holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and is a registered professional engineer.’
      • ‘Seventy-three-year-old Kalam is also, incidentally, one of India's most renowned scientists and a former aeronautical engineer.’
      • ‘Its team of naval architects, electrical engineers, marine engineers and design draughtsmen offer their experience to the shipping industry.’
      • ‘Tarek Alkhrdaji, Ph.D., is a design engineer for the Structural Group.’
      • ‘Now, building automation engineers are designing these systems around the structured cable plant used for engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site.’
      • ‘If the bridge appears safe, trains are allowed to cross it, but only at 5mph, until a qualified bridge engineer has carried out a detailed inspection.’
      • ‘Dave, a graduate aeronautical engineer, learned to fly at Barton Aerodrome with the Lancashire Aero Club and has a private pilot's licence.’
      • ‘Fifty years old, she is a qualified electrical engineer.’
      • ‘Hugo Troche is a software engineer originally from Asuncion, Paraguay now living in Auburn, Alabama, USA.’
      • ‘Basso is qualified as an aeronautical engineer, having worked in the United States for NASA near Washington.’
      • ‘Daniel P. Duffy, P.E., is a professional environmental engineer in Cincinnati, OH.’
      • ‘Richie Hindle is a professional software engineer in the UK.’
      • ‘An aerospace engineer by training, Dr. Chen received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology.’
      • ‘If so, I can assure you, as a practical aeronautical engineer, that such a trip is neither fantastic nor impractical.’
      • ‘Alternatively you could hire a consulting structural engineer.’
      • ‘After I graduate, I'm going to become an aerospace engineer and design space ships with the Kazoo Constant.’
      • ‘He is a registered professional engineer in New Hampshire.’
      • ‘He built relationships with leading design professionals and forensic engineers, some of whom he had met at the symposium.’
      • ‘As a young man growing up in Vancouver in the 1930s and '4Os, Denham contemplated becoming an aeronautical engineer or an English professor.’
      • ‘The zx 2000 is a single processor system built with design engineers in mind.’
      • ‘She was talking to a software engineer who works in the private sector.’
    2. 1.2 The operator or supervisor of an engine, especially a railroad locomotive or the engine on an aircraft or ship.
      • ‘Typically, it's a boatswain's mate or a quartermaster running the ship, while an engineer and one or two seaman line handlers assist in the shipboard operations.’
      • ‘Rocket and aircraft engineers have been testing their hardware in computer loop simulations for years.’
      • ‘Jetstar aircraft will not be inspected by licensed aircraft engineers before each flight.’
      • ‘These abuses have been obvious for a long time, and many engineers originally employed by British Rail warned us of the disasters to come.’
      • ‘The ships' engineers were deeply involved in the repair work on the ship, the Hidalgo Sun.’
      • ‘She was one of the ship's top engineers and she kept it running smoothly.’
      • ‘New rules on alcohol have brought air traffic controllers and aircraft engineers into line with pilots although it remains up to individual employers how levels are checked.’
      • ‘He works as an aircraft engineer with Indian Airlines.’
      • ‘I arrived at the aircraft to find that I had two qualified flight engineers to help me.’
      • ‘After the pre-flight briefing, the engineers safety-clear the aircraft for boarding.’
      • ‘He went to sea with the Coast Guard as an engineer on the ships and later, a steamship inspector until he retired in 1988.’
      • ‘He ordered future commanders of U-boats to ‘be severe’ and forbade them to rescue survivors other than the captains and chief engineers of the enemy ships.’
      • ‘Each of the frigate's flights consists of two pilots, an observer and an aircrewman, plus nine engineers and an aircraft controller.’
      • ‘The flight engineer said that it had seven gallons at the beginning of the flight.’
      • ‘These include baggage handlers, security staff and people working on aircraft, such as engineers and crew.’
      • ‘With the specialist and the ship's engineers working side by side in the very tight spaces of the engine room the port engine was repaired and tested.’
      • ‘Five aircraft engineers from RAF Lyneham arrived home after a two-week project to help poor communities in Africa.’
      • ‘He's an engineer on cargo ships and spends half his time at sea.’
      • ‘"The new ship's engineer seems to have settled in quite well.’
      engineering officer, controller, handler, driver
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    3. 1.3 A skillful contriver or originator of something.
      ‘the prime engineer of the approach’
      • ‘The social engineers in charge of government policy seem to think so.’
      • ‘He was the engineer of this change.’
      • ‘He is credited as the engineer of this merger, which has created the world's biggest global financial services organization.’


[with object]
  • 1Design and build (a machine or structure)

    ‘the men who engineered the tunnel’
    • ‘Over the next twenty years he was posted to a variety of different places where he was involved in engineering, in structural design, fortifications, soil mechanics, and many other areas.’
    • ‘The car is designed and engineered around the modules, which are assembled in the plant.’
    • ‘Optionally, machines can also be engineered to incorporate printing, code dating, and labeling equipment.’
    • ‘As a product of the cold-war era, it was engineered to withstand aerial bombardment.’
    • ‘Similarly, the Ford Territory is designed, engineered and built in Melbourne.’
    • ‘Unwittingly, he had unleashed the most diabolically destructive war machine yet engineered by the minds of men.’
    • ‘Design professionals can contribute to the conservation of materials by designing and engineering structures so they can be more easily taken apart in the future.’
    • ‘In its graceful form and precisely engineered structure, the ski jump emulates the drama and daring of the sport itself.’
    • ‘Has the structure actually been engineered to accommodate this need, or is there another element external to it that serves the purpose?’
    • ‘Here's how Ford is taking technology pioneered by the aircraft industry to help design and engineer better cars.’
    • ‘It was designed and engineered by British Architect Sir Norman Foster and is company.’
    • ‘Haden will be running the paint shop that it has designed, engineered and built.’
    • ‘It is a superbly engineered and well-built car.’
    • ‘Reliability means that it will be of durable construction, engineered for safety and built with experience.’
    • ‘Solid, superbly engineered and with the build quality of an executive jet.’
    • ‘That's because these machines are engineered to be both super-durable and highly precise.’
    • ‘Builders fashion structures engineered to keep their inhabitants warm in winter and cool in summer.’
    • ‘He often recalled the words of his father and dreamed of using technology to engineer a wondrous machine that would propel him into the heavens to meet the Lord.’
    • ‘The vehicle, designed and engineered by our company will be essentially built by an outside supplier.’
    • ‘The extended version is designed, engineered and built by the same company.’
    formulate, form, put together
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    1. 1.1 Skillfully or artfully arrange for (an event or situation) to occur.
      ‘she engineered another meeting with him’
      • ‘What can you do about confidence tricks, phishing and other socially engineered security breaches?’
      • ‘The two cable groups will finally be brought together in a deal engineered by that mysterious American investor.’
      • ‘Nick Kew has posted a very interesting proposal to engineer a means to handle Web accessibility on the server-side.’
      • ‘Only she knows if her exhibitionism is sincere self-expression or carefully engineered self-promotion.’
      • ‘It requires concerted efforts to engineer cultural change.’
      • ‘York were immediately on the back foot but repelled a series of short corners and managed to engineer a breakaway attack.’
      • ‘Mr Duxbury took over responsibility for burial services this year after the council engineered a managerial shake-up to try to improve services.’
      • ‘Peter is not reduced to nervous shambles, he barks back at his guard and engineers a reasonable escape plan.’
      • ‘Obviously such trips are engineered, stage-managed so that Palin is in no danger and invariably encounters interesting people and situations.’
      • ‘His father is convinced the accident was deliberately engineered and vows the claim will be contested.’
      • ‘That has produced a consensus view that China was successfully engineering a managed slowdown.’
      • ‘In other words they have managed to engineer a win-win situation for themselves, at the expense of their bitter rivals to the north of the island.’
      • ‘They possessed a lethal forward division that managed to engineer breathtaking scores from very limited possession but some gaping holes at the back ensured that defeat would be their lot.’
      • ‘Grant, who worked as a director with United Biscuits before engineering a management buy-out of Mackay's in 1995, is clear about what he is doing.’
      • ‘He received a quickly taken free kick and managed to engineer an opportunity for himself.’
      • ‘Each day, a fresh surprise seems to be sprung on a Labour machine - some engineered by the Conservative Party, most of them bolts from the blue.’
      • ‘Brenda hadn't ceased to plot, plan and engineer his defeat, regardless if he was the only capable negotiator dedicated to the union's position.’
      • ‘He has already engineered what might appear to be a highly advantageous setup.’
      bring about, cause, arrange, pull off, bring off, fix, set up, plot, scheme, contrive, plan, put together, devise, manoeuvre, manipulate, negotiate, organize, orchestrate, choreograph, mobilize, mount, stage, put on, mastermind, originate, manage, stage-manage, coordinate, control, superintend, direct, conduct, handle, concoct
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    2. 1.2 Modify (an organism) by manipulating its genetic material.
      ‘it is now possible to engineer tobacco plants that are resistant to the virus’
      • ‘Some biotech crops are engineered to ward off pests.’
      • ‘Genetically engineered species reproduce themselves in the wild, changing ecosystems forever.’
      • ‘There might be a role for use of genetically engineered animals in the interpretation of critical genes in toxic responses.’
      • ‘The bacteria were genetically engineered to produce a fluorescent jellyfish protein, so they glowed as they grew.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, some companies are seeking approval to market genetically engineered fish.’
      • ‘I use synthetic human insulin, produced not by people but by genetically engineered bacteria.’
      • ‘The human race could find its existence threatened if we genetically engineered some predator species to be as smart as we are.’
      • ‘Engineering human biological change is, in these terms, a very different matter from engineering animals and plants to better serve our needs.’
      • ‘Fowler and a team of researchers are genetically engineering harmless bacteria that can thrive in natural cloth fibers.’
      • ‘These experiments provided the first example of genetically engineered plants with the ability to synthesize betaine at appreciable levels.’
      • ‘An application seeking approval of genetically engineered fish has been pending for nearly six years.’
      • ‘And the nutritional content of a genetically engineered plant may be diminished.’
      • ‘Genetically engineered plants are now grown on more than 100,000 acres.’
      • ‘In addition, they tested a genetically engineered virus to deliver two proteins directly to the brain.’
      • ‘Using genetically engineered animals, they will explore the cellular mechanisms by which variations in the genes lead to deficits.’
      • ‘Otto and Silhavy then genetically engineered bacteria to lack the genes in question.’
      • ‘Many plants and animals are engineered to express human genetic information.’
      • ‘He has never released a genetically engineered plant of any kind into the environment.’
      • ‘In order to get patents, it has to be proved that genetically engineered species are completely new, novel, and alien organisms.’
      • ‘Plants have been engineered to produce it before, but there have been problems.’


Middle English (denoting a designer and constructor of fortifications and weapons; formerly also as ingineer): in early use from Old French engigneor, from medieval Latin ingeniator, from ingeniare ‘contrive, devise’, from Latin ingenium (see engine); in later use from French ingénieur or Italian ingegnere, also based on Latin ingenium, with the ending influenced by -eer.