ensure

verb
en·sure | \ in-ˈshu̇r \
ensured; ensuring

Definition of ensure 

transitive verb

: to make sure, certain, or safe : guarantee

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Choose the Right Synonym for ensure

ensure, insure, assure, secure mean to make a thing or person sure. ensure, insure, and assure are interchangeable in many contexts where they indicate the making certain or inevitable of an outcome, but ensure may imply a virtual guarantee the government has ensured the safety of the refugees , while insure sometimes stresses the taking of necessary measures beforehand careful planning should insure the success of the party , and assure distinctively implies the removal of doubt and suspense from a person's mind. I assure you that no harm will be done secure implies action taken to guard against attack or loss. sent reinforcements to secure their position

Do you ensure or insure?

There is considerable confusion about whether ensure and insure are distinct words, variants of the same word, or some combination of the two. They are in fact different words, but with sufficient overlap in meaning and form as to create uncertainty as to which should be used when. We define ensure as “to make sure, certain, or safe” and one sense of insure, “to make certain especially by taking necessary measures and precautions,” is quite similar. But insure has the additional meaning “to provide or obtain insurance on or for,” which is not shared by ensure. Some usage guides recommend using insure in financial contexts (as in “she insured her book collection for a million dollars”) and ensure in the general sense “to make certain” (as in “she ensured that the book collection was packed well”).

Examples of ensure in a Sentence

A combination of … personal courage, dashing leadership from the front, willingness to share the toughest rigours suffered by the ordinary soldiers, and a liberal dose of sheer good fortune ensured his stature as a great general. —Paul Cartledge, History Today, July 2004 Indeed, even though she's been off the mainstream radar for more than a decade, her passionate love for and commitment to rock & roll have ensured that she's managed to make a steady living. —Tom Sinclair, Entertainment Weekly, 24 Nov. 2000 At 20, [Kobe] Bryant is already living the modern American dream, a $70 million man on the NBA's glamour team in the nation's starriest city. His acrobatic moves make him the envy of teenage boys and his good looks and megawatt smile a heartthrob for teenage girls, ensuring his status as one of the NBA's premier pitchmen … —Allison Samuels et al., Newsweek, 31 May 1999 They took steps to ensure the safety of the passengers. regulations that ensure the wholesomeness of our food
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Recent Examples on the Web

The United States is committed to making measurable progress to ensure security on both sides of that border,’’ Pompeo told journalists. Susannah George, BostonGlobe.com, "We can’t afford to replace empathy with apathy," 13 July 2018 Instead, Judge Kavanaugh appears to focus on constitutional structure, to ensure that the executive branch and Congress operate within their specified boundaries. Jeffrey Rosen, WSJ, "What We Learn from Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings," 13 July 2018 In light of this report, the Justice Department should conduct a thorough investigation to ensure that Ross was working on behalf of all Americans and not just his own bank account. New York Times, "Wilbur Ross Says He Will Sell Stock After Watchdog Warns of Potential for Criminal Violation," 13 July 2018 Use the toilet as a candy bowl to ensure customers remember services being offered. Rob Weinberg, Pomerado News, "Must trade shows be boring?," 12 July 2018 Campers will be placed in small groups by age to ensure that each child gets maximum instruction. Indianapolis Star, "Attend Victor Oladipo Youth Basketball ProCamp," 12 July 2018 West Wilmette parents whose children will attend Romona Elementary School this fall want the village to give the school a third crossing guard, near Wilmette Junior High School, to ensure that children can cross Locust Road safely. Kathy Routliffe, chicagotribune.com, "Romona School parents ask Wilmette for Locust Road crossing guard," 12 July 2018 His lot, says Mr Hu, is to remain in China as a hostage, to ensure that Ms Liu minds her tongue in exile. The Economist, "China frees the widow of a Nobel peace-prize winner," 11 July 2018 Justice Department attorney Sarah Fabian stressed to the judge that the government is deploying significant resources to ensure that children are being reunited with parents in timely fashion. Anchorage Daily News, "Kids as young as 1 in US court, awaiting reunion with family," 8 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ensure.' 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 ensure

1660, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ensure

Middle English, from Anglo-French ensurer, alteration of assurer — more at assure

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Learn More about ensure

Dictionary Entries near ensure

ensuingly

en suite

ensurance

ensure

ensurer

en surtout

enswathe

Statistics for ensure

Last Updated

7 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ensure

The first known use of ensure was in 1660

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More Definitions for ensure

ensure

verb

English Language Learners Definition of ensure

: to make (something) sure, certain, or safe

ensure

verb
en·sure | \ in-ˈshu̇r \
ensured; ensuring

Kids Definition of ensure

: to make sure, certain, or safe : guarantee The crossing guard ensures our safety as we cross the street.

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Comments on ensure

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