Definition of involve in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪnˈvɒlv/


[with object]
1Have or include (something) as a necessary or integral part or result: my job involves a lot of travelling a bill proposing harsher penalties for crimes involving firearms and drugs
More example sentences
  • It was a workload which included every aspect of the job and even involved coverage of sport.
  • This result does not involve any unconstitutional border crossing by the court.
  • Several factors are involved, including increasing drink prices and the ban on smoking in bars.
entail, mean, imply, presuppose, presume, assume;
appertain to, pertain to, relate to, concern
1.1Cause to participate in an activity or situation: an opportunity to involve as many people as possible in all aspects of music-making
More example sentences
  • She made false allegations to police that they were involved in criminal activity and she also claimed he had threatened to kill her.
  • Do you often find yourself involved in a situation without having planned it at all?
  • He fell into fast company and before long, found himself involved in illegal activities.
1.2 (be/get involved) Be or become occupied or engrossed in something: her husband had been very involved in his work
More example sentences
  • I'm not smart enough to do crossword puzzles, so I'm very involved in the politics and governance of this place.
  • Doubt I would have been involved in politics if I had been around then.
  • Philip Hendry had been involved in local politics almost since the time Jill and I came to Bedford thirty years ago.
implicate, incriminate, inculpate;
associate, connect, concern;
informal mix up
1.3 (be involved) Be engaged in an emotional or personal relationship: Angela told me she was involved with someone else
More example sentences
  • Is it different when you are emotionally involved with the person you are producing?
  • This is the first time that he has been involved with such an emotional and grand project.
  • 100 pages into a book, you should be emotionally involved with the characters to some extent.


Late Middle English (in the senses 'enfold' and 'entangle'; formerly also as envolve): from Latin involvere, from in- 'into' + volvere 'to roll'.

  • revolve from Late Middle English:

    The Latin verb volvere had the sense ‘to turn round, roll, tumble’; add re- in front and you get meaning such as ‘turn back, turn round’. This is the basic idea behind revolve and its offshoots: revolution (Late Middle English) which only came to mean the overthrow of a government in 1600, and which developed the form rev for the turning over of a motor in the early 20th century; and revolt (mid 16th century) initially used politically, and developing the sense ‘to make someone turn away in disgust’ in the mid 18th century. The sense ‘roll, tumble’ of volvere developed into vault, both for the sense ‘leap’ (mid 16th century) which came via Old French volter ‘to turn (a horse), gambol’, and for the arch that springs up to form a roof (Middle English). The turning sense is found in voluble (Middle English) initially used to mean ‘turning’, but was used for words rolling out of the mouth by the late 16th century, and in volume (Late Middle English) originally a rolled scroll rather than a book, but with the sense ‘quantity’ coming from an obsolete meaning ‘size or extent (of a book)’ by the early 16th century. Convoluted (late 18th century) comes from convolvere ‘rolled together, intertwined’ (the plant convolvulus, from the same root, that climbs by turning its stem around a support already existed as a word in Latin, where it could also mean a caterpillar that rolls itself up in a leaf); while devolve (Late Middle English) comes from its opposite devolvere ‘to unroll, roll down’; and involve (Late Middle English) from involvere ‘to roll in’.

Words that rhyme with involve

absolve, devolve, evolve, exsolve, revolve, solve

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in|volve

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