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 Alternately, buying two batteries will ensure additional coverage. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Cordless Snowblower," 6 Feb. 2020 The proportional representation electoral system (entailing a single transferable vote) ensures that the country has been doomed — or blessed — with a perpetual series of coalitions. K. V. Turley, National Review, "All Change in Ireland," 5 Feb. 2020 Careful lighting ensures that the leads' dark-skinned features are illuminated just enough without compromising the need for dimness in the night scenes. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, "'His House': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 4 Feb. 2020 All of these requirements ensure that the coordinators can monitor the production process effectively and make sure that the personnel on-site are comfortable. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "SAG-AFTRA Is Working Hard To Make Hollywood Safer For Its Stars," 29 Jan. 2020 Lawmakers in America have been cracking down on the company for failing to ensure the privacy of its users, leaving data vulnerable to hackers, and allegedly stifling competition by buying up social media competitors like WhatsApp and Instagram. Fortune, "Ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings, Facebook faces costly regulatory pitfalls," 28 Jan. 2020 Only monetary multilateralism can ensure that all nations have the ability to exert their right to self-determination, and only monetary multilateralism will prevent the U.S. from pursuing its often destructive global plans. David Adler, The New Republic, "To End Forever War, End the Dollar’s Global Dominance," 28 Jan. 2020 The company did not ensure employees were provided and wore eye protection. Cameron Knight, Cincinnati.com, "Midwest Ammunition cited by OSHA after employee death," 28 Jan. 2020 The government has failed to ensure discipline within and justice for their own security force violations. Clair Macdougall, Quartz Africa, "Burkina Faso plans to recruit volunteers to battle Islamic terrorist groups," 24 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for ensure

Time Traveler

The first known use of ensure was in 1660

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Statistics for ensure

Last Updated

9 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ensure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ensure. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for ensure


How to pronounce ensure (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ensure

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


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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More from Merriam-Webster on ensure

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ensure

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ensure

Spanish Central: Translation of ensure

Nglish: Translation of ensure for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ensure for Arabic Speakers

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