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verb in·dem·ni·fy \in-ˈdem-nə-ˌfī\

Simple Definition of indemnify

  • : to protect (someone) by promising to pay for the cost of possible future damage, loss, or injury

  • : to give (someone) money or another kind of payment for some damage, loss, or injury

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of indemnify


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to secure against hurt, loss, or damage

  3. 2 :  to make compensation to for incurred hurt, loss, or damage

indemnifier play \-ˌfī(-ə)r\ noun

Examples of indemnify in a sentence

  1. Again, let's look at auto insurance, which indemnifies the holder against loss. If a policy-holder's car is wrecked, the insurance company sends him a check for the value of the car … —John Steele Gordon, American Heritage, May–June 1992

  2. We moved quickly, and the House approved an appropriation of $60,000 to indemnify Hamilton Jordan for his legal fees. —Tip O'Neill in Man of the House, 1987

  3. Likewise, the “sexagenarians law,” which freed slaves over 60 years old, required those slaves to indemnify their masters, as did nearly every act of manumission. —Shepard Foreman, New York Times Book Review, 2 Nov. 1986

  4. <the company generously indemnifies workers who are injured on the job>

Origin of indemnify

Latin indemnis unharmed, from in- + damnum damage

First Known Use: 1611

Synonym Discussion of indemnify

pay, compensate, remunerate, satisfy, reimburse, indemnify, repay, recompense mean to give money or its equivalent in return for something. pay implies the discharge of an obligation incurred <paid their bills>. compensate implies a making up for services rendered <an attorney well compensated for her services>. remunerate clearly suggests paying for services rendered and may extend to payment that is generous or not contracted for <promised to remunerate the searchers handsomely>. satisfy implies paying a person what is required by law <all creditors will be satisfied in full>. reimburse implies a return of money that has been spent for another's benefit <reimbursed employees for expenses>. indemnify implies making good a loss suffered through accident, disaster, or warfare <indemnified the families of the dead miners>. repay stresses paying back an equivalent in kind or amount <repay a favor with a favor>. recompense suggests due return in amends, friendly repayment, or reward <passengers were recompensed for the delay>.

Law Dictionary


transitive verb in·dem·ni·fy \in-ˈdem-nə-ˌfī\

Legal Definition of indemnify


  1. 1 :  to secure against hurt, loss, or damage

  2. 2 :  to compensate or reimburse for incurred hurt, loss, or damage

indemnifier noun

Origin of indemnify

Latin indemnis unharmed, from in- not + damnum damage

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up indemnify? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to expose to danger or risk

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