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

Inspired by the iridescent colors of the aurora borealis, Chantecaille’s new celestial polishes ensure out-of-this-world nails, free of harsh chemicals and formaldehydes, too. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "13 New Beauty Products Worth the Hype in 2019," 9 Jan. 2019 The team works to maintain a balance of ensuring readily available data from the project with expert quality control. Lydia Pyne, Ars Technica, "Rising Star found a new species—now it wants to find a new way for paleoanthropology," 20 Dec. 2018 The absolute best way to ensure regular hair growth is to leave your brows alone; tweezing, rubbing, and picking at them only leads to premature hair loss. Audrey Noble, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Expert Guide To Growing Your Eyebrows," 17 Dec. 2018 Two bedrooms boast spacious bathrooms, and the 2,149 square foot space ensures plenty of room to spread out. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Modern artist’s retreat in the desert asks $690K," 26 Nov. 2018 The House passed a measure last week that included $5.7 billion for the wall, all but ensuring the shutdown because a bill in the Senate requires support of at least some Democrats. Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "Trump Administration Warns Shutdown Could Last Into January," 23 Dec. 2018 Pai claimed that the new classification of text messaging will ensure that cellular carriers are legally able to block robotexts. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "FCC forces California to drop plan for government fees on text messages," 17 Dec. 2018 And a matte wax-oil finish provides waterproof and stain-resistant durability, ensuring your terrazzo trendsetter becomes a timeless treasure. Jennifer Fernandez, House Beautiful, "This Company Is Making Gorgeous Terrazzo Furnishings Out Of Recycled Marble," 11 Dec. 2018 Weatherproof shoes will prevent moisture from seeping through to your toes and will ensure your sneakers last through the harsh winter months. Laura Schwecherl, SELF, "3 Simple Things I Do to Make Winter Running More Enjoyable," 8 Dec. 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

12 Jan 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on ensure

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ensure

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ensure

Spanish Central: Translation of ensure

Nglish: Translation of ensure for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ensure for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ensure

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