verb en·sure \ in-ˈshu̇r \
|Updated on: 13 Jul 2018

Definition of ensure

ensured; ensuring
: to make sure, certain, or safe : guarantee

Examples of ensure in a Sentence

  1. 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 CartledgeHistory TodayJuly 2004
  2. 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 SinclairEntertainment Weekly24 Nov. 2000
  3. 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.Newsweek31 May 1999
  4. They took steps to ensure the safety of the passengers.

  5. regulations that ensure the wholesomeness of our food

Recent Examples of ensure from the Web

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.

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”).

Origin and Etymology of ensure

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

ensure Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of 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

ENSURE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of ensure for English Language Learners

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

ENSURE Defined for Kids


verb en·sure \ in-ˈshu̇r \

Definition of ensure for Students

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

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