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

Basically, it’s Amazon’s program for ensuring that kids never go somewhere online that their parents wouldn’t like. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "Kids can now stream approved audiobooks through Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited," 12 Nov. 2018 Who is responsible for ensuring that the devices work as intended? Andrea M. Matwyshyn, WSJ, "The ‘Internet of Bodies’ Is Here. Are Courts and Regulators Ready?," 12 Nov. 2018 So that’s why OpenAI was created as a nonprofit foundation, to ensure that AI power ... or to reduce the probability that AI power would be monopolized. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Recode Decode," 2 Nov. 2018 Mabel is committed to ensuring that VOW supports organizations that partner directly with communities. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "New Charity VOW Partners With the Wedding Industry to End Child Marriage," 29 Oct. 2018 To ensure each layer of rocks is in the right position, the engineers designed the arm to be powered by computer vision, enabling it to calculate where each piece of gravel must go to build a stable base. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Watch a robot build columns out of only gravel and string," 15 Oct. 2018 The new estimates will help the science team ensure the mission is still on track to succeed at its primary job: measuring the mass of 50 planets that are smaller than Neptune. Meghan Bartels, Space.com, "New NASA Planet Hunter May Find 10,000 Alien Worlds in Just Two Years," 8 Aug. 2018 They are harvested over several days, with growers regularly sampling the fruits to ensure the correct ripeness. Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Indianapolis Star, "The Hoosier Gardener: Trip to Bordeaux wine country is an educational experience," 13 July 2018 Women’s participation in conflict prevention and resolution often helps ensure success; agreements that include women and civil-society groups are 64% less likely to fail than those that do not, according to a U.N.-sponsored study. James Stavridis, Time, "Democracy Isn't Perfect, But It Will Still Prevail," 12 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

16 Nov 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

What made you want to look up ensure? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

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