en·​sue in-ˈsü How to pronounce ensue (audio)
ensued; ensuing

transitive verb

: to strive to attain : pursue
I wander, seeking peace, and ensuing itRupert Brooke

intransitive verb

: to take place afterward or as a result
Choose the Right Synonym for ensue

follow, succeed, ensue, supervene mean to come after something or someone.

follow may apply to a coming after in time, position, or logical sequence.

speeches followed the dinner

succeed implies a coming after immediately in a sequence determined by natural order, inheritance, election, or laws of rank.

she succeeded her father as head of the business

ensue commonly suggests a logical consequence or naturally expected development.

after the talk a general discussion ensued

supervene suggests the following or beginning of something unforeseen or unpredictable.

unable to continue because of supervening circumstances

Examples of ensue in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The ensuing decades, however, were not kind to the industry. Michele Herrmann, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Sep. 2023 Aubrey slowed himself down and converted the ensuing try. Michael Gehlken, Dallas News, 16 Sep. 2023 Elijah Owens returned the ensuing kickoff 44 yards to set up a 40-yard field goal attempt by Davis that was blocked by Jordan James. Preps, al, 15 Sep. 2023 Then, in the ensuing months, the board will pick up the pieces after closing the schools and try to put it all back together. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 15 Sep. 2023 How has that soundtrack work impacted your ensuing albums? Patrick Lyons, Spin, 15 Sep. 2023 Frustrated by drug shortages and the price spikes that typically ensue, executives from large hospital systems launched the nonprofit Civica Rx to deal with the problem in September 2018. John Wilkerson, STAT, 14 Sep. 2023 Crowds confronted soldiers, violence often ensued, rulers wavered, and in the unbridled enthusiasm of the moment, some were emboldened to demand much more. Lynn Hunt, The New York Review of Books, 14 Sep. 2023 On the third play of the ensuing drive, Shrout threw another interception and Tigers defensive back D.J. Bell returned it 36 yards for a touchdown, extending the lead to 17-0. Mike Harley, Arkansas Online, 10 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ensue.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French ensivre (3rd singular ensiut), from en- + sivre to follow — more at sue

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of ensue was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near ensue

Cite this Entry

“Ensue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ensue. Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


en·​sue in-ˈsü How to pronounce ensue (audio)
ensued; ensuing
: to come at a later time or as a result : follow
ensuing effects

More from Merriam-Webster on ensue

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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