en·​sconce | \ in-ˈskän(t)s How to pronounce ensconce (audio) \
ensconced; ensconcing

Definition of ensconce

transitive verb

1 : shelter, conceal ensconced themselves within the protection of three great elms— Mark Twain
2 : establish, settle ensconced in a new job

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Synonyms for ensconce


install, lodge, nestle, perch, roost, settle

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Did You Know?

You might think of "sconce" as a type of candleholder or lamp, but the word can also refer to a defensive fortification, usually one made of earth. Originally, then, a person who was "ensconced" was enclosed in or concealed by such a structure, out of harm's way. The earliest writer to apply the verb "ensconce" with the general sense of "hide" was William Shakespeare. In The Merry Wives of Windsor, the character Falstaff, hoping to avoid detection when he is surprised during an amorous moment with Mrs. Ford, says "She shall not see me; I will ensconce me behind the arras." (An arras is a tapestry or wall hanging.)

Examples of ensconce in a Sentence

The sculpture is safely ensconced behind glass. He ensconced himself in front of the television.

Recent Examples on the Web

After invading in 1940, the Nazi hierarchy ensconced themselves in Paris’ luxury hotels, and hobnobbed at theaters and fine restaurants. Washington Post, "Paris celebrates its liberation from Nazis, 75 years on," 25 Aug. 2019 Since his death in 2011, Twombly, who rose to prominence in the midst and immediate aftermath of the Abstract Expressionist generation, has become ever more firmly ensconced in the art-history canon. Andrew Martin, Harper's magazine, "Not Mere Projection," 10 Mar. 2019 After invading in 1940, the Nazi hierarchy ensconced themselves in Paris’s luxury hotels and hobnobbed at theaters and fine restaurants. Elaine Ganley, BostonGlobe.com, "Paris celebrats its liberation from the Nazis 75 years ago," 25 Aug. 2019 The resulting tsunamis wipe out entire continents, and with them all life not safely ensconced underground. The Economist, "China’s grand, gloomy sci-fi is going global," 22 June 2019 Just a few months ago, Rosenberg looked safely ensconced in the president’s chair. Adrian Walker, BostonGlobe.com, "The Massachusetts Senate is on the verge of multiple presidents, but does it have any leadership?," 1 Apr. 2018 The deceased are depicted on red carpets, surrounded by stars, nestled among twinkling diamonds, or ensconced among pink roses and doves. Washington Post, "Meet the Baltimore woman who designed a comic-book-themed funeral program," 26 Aug. 2019 The deceased are depicted on red carpets, surrounded by stars, or nestled among twinkling diamonds, or ensconced among pink roses and doves. Mckenna Oxenden, baltimoresun.com, "Meet the Baltimore woman who designed a comic book-themed program for 4-year-old Malachi Lawson’s funeral," 23 Aug. 2019 Their new house, ensconced in Tyvek wrap, is coming along; the family hopes to move in by the end of this year. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "They lost everything in the Sonoma County fires. So they decided to make some wine.," 25 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ensconce.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ensconce

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ensconce

en- + sconce entry 2

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Statistics for ensconce

Last Updated

13 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for ensconce

The first known use of ensconce was in 1594

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More Definitions for ensconce



English Language Learners Definition of ensconce

: to firmly place or hide (someone or something)

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More from Merriam-Webster on ensconce

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ensconce

Spanish Central: Translation of ensconce

Nglish: Translation of ensconce for Spanish Speakers

Comments on ensconce

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suitable to be imparted to the public

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