The gunman was engaged by responding officers within about 1 minute and taken into custody, officials from Anne Arundel County Government said.

According to the Collins dictionary, engage can mean:

  1. verb If you engage someone in conversation, you have a conversation with them.


  1. verb When a military force engages the enemy, it attacks them and starts a battle.

So, what's engage supposed to mean in this context?

The full source.


At a very basic level, it simply means they


in some way, either by shooting or possibly by conversation and negotiation. If you are

engaged in conversation

you are interacting with someone and talking to them.

  • So, what is it in this context? Is it attacking/shooting or just having a conversation with the gunman? That's the part that confused me originally. – dan Jun 29 '18 at 2:52
  • From the context, all we know is the police captured the gunman. We do not know how. Considering guns were involved, it was probably by force. – Peter Jun 29 '18 at 2:54
  • is it possible that the official was trying to deliberately hide in what way they captured the gunman, and so they used the word 'engage'? – dan Jun 29 '18 at 3:12
  • 1
    It is a possible motivation, but it is also fairly standard police-speak. – Peter Jun 29 '18 at 3:16

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