ensure

verb
en·​sure | \ in-ˈshu̇r How to pronounce ensure (audio) \
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 That would ensure the full $1,400 relief payments would go to individuals making $75,000 or less, while couples earning $150,000 would be entitled to $2,800 relief payments. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Third stimulus check: Will you get a $1,400 check?," 20 Feb. 2021 Three bills in Maryland’s state legislature aim to support parenting students, tracking data and implementing new policies to keep them in school, ensure their children’s health — and get their diploma. Tom Hindle, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland bills would support high school students with children," 19 Feb. 2021 During West Hartford’s formative years during the first half of the 20th century, local, federal and real estate industry officials took steps that would ensure the town remained overwhelmingly — almost entirely — white. Alex Putterman, courant.com, "West Hartford is mostly white, while Bloomfield is largely Black. How that came to be tells the story of racism and segregation in American suburbs," 19 Feb. 2021 Eric Jome, director of media relations at Illinois State University in Normal, said the move would ensure a smooth opening for the fall semester. Kevin Bessler, Washington Examiner, "Faculty at Illinois colleges lobby for COVID-19 vaccinations before fall," 18 Feb. 2021 When delays happen, Ravn relies on a long list of procedures to ensure safe shipment, including calling on other airlines to help if needed, Cole said. Anchorage Daily News, "‘The New Balto’: Alaska’s fight against COVID-19 takes to the skies," 16 Feb. 2021 In May 2019, the State Department updated Form DS-260 to ensure that social media handles are collected from foreigners requesting visas so their posts can be scrutinized. New York Times, "Undoing Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Policies Will Mean Looking at the Fine Print," 10 Feb. 2021 Drake from State Farm might ensure his reappearance at the Super Bowl with his own set, becoming the second solo Canadian act to headline the halftime show following The Weeknd this year. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Who Should Perform at the 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show? Vote!," 7 Feb. 2021 David Lewis, executive director of Save the Bay, whose organization is partly responsible for the estuary’s improvement over the past half century, said the money is crucial to continuing to ensure the bay’s health, especially as sea levels rise. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, "Feds 'short changing' San Francisco Bay - local Congress members want money for restoration," 28 Jan. 2021

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

Statistics for ensure

Last Updated

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ensure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ensure. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce ensure (audio) \
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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