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 When Kyler reached into his center console to grab his gun, a struggle ensued, and Kyler shot Washington several times, according to charging documents. Omari Daniels, Washington Post, 14 Feb. 2024 On the morning of Jan. 18, 2021, Harvey showed up at Leonard’s house with a knife, where a struggle ensued, prosecutors said, WJHL reports. Kc Baker, Peoplemag, 13 Feb. 2024 Suddenly, Hank, who has been following Danvers, shows up and a confrontation ensues during which Hank fatally shoots Heiss. Megan McCluskey, TIME, 10 Feb. 2024 Minutes later, the caller again dialed 911 to report that a struggle ensued and that the caller was now in the back of the van that had just been stolen by the suspect. Nicole Lopez, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 9 Feb. 2024 The driver of the vehicle did not comply and a high-speed pursuit ensued. Karen Garcia, Los Angeles Times, 5 Feb. 2024 Similar responses quickly ensued when BBC published a 20-second clip of the interview last week on TikTok. Jane Thier, Fortune Europe, 5 Feb. 2024 More cheering ensued when Stevie Wonder took the stage to pay tribute to Mariah Carey in word and song. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, 2 Feb. 2024 Fashion Week abroad is still ensuing with Copenhagen as its latest stop. Kerane Marcellus, Essence, 1 Feb. 2024 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 24 Feb. 2024.

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

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