1) That branch of science and technology concerned with the design, building, and use of engines, machines, and structures.
2) The action of working artfully to bring something about.
3) Work done by an engineer.
Those of us who do software work create structure; we (if we do hardware as well, create and) use and empower machines; we work artfully to bring the desired outcome about; we are therefore, in every sense of the word, doing engineering, and we are engineers. Many are artists as well, in the domain of the very same pursuits.
As far as a license goes, that's in no way a guarantee of competence (any more than a college degree is), nor is the presumptive ability to sue a worthy indirect guarantee. All you have to look at to understand that is take a look at the incredibly incompetent RF systems put in place at a very large number of radio stations by the system designers, and further, at the incredibly incompetent rules and regulations the engineers at the FCC have put in place both to specify the requirements, and to validate the results of said designs. Oh, and WRT RFI as well. (The idiots at the FCC decided that high speed networking over power lines (BPL) was a reasonable idea. In the realm of undertakings that clearly show government licensed engineers up as complete buffoons, that is surely in the running for number one.)
It is perfectly valid to say that professional software types aren't "licensed engineers." But that in no way is the same thing as saying that software engineers aren't engineers at all. Or that they aren't professionals. They are quite often both. And within that context, there are good ones, bad ones, terrific ones, utterly incompetent ones - but still engineers, doing engineering.