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

Although saying goodbye to the finest members of the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit will be undoubtedly difficult, the criminal procedural is ensuring an action-packed, star-studded, can't-miss season 15. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "The Final Season of 'Criminal Minds' Will Be a 'Tearjerker' and We're Not Ready," 27 Apr. 2019 If passed, this bill could usher in a new era of beauty, one that puts health first and ensures that everyone has access to safe personal care products. Ivana Rihter, Vogue, "Are Your Beauty Products Toxic? A New Senate Bill Aims to Tackle Unregulated Ingredients," 9 Mar. 2019 It’s no coincidence the program takes place during Earth Month: Target works with a partner, Waste Management, to ensure the older car seats are properly recycled. Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, "Here's When Target's Popular Car Seat Trade-In Event Is Happening," 9 Apr. 2019 Our teams will be working hard to ensure that the terms of the deal are fully implemented. Fox News, "Daines slams Dems' 'desperation tactics' against Kavanaugh," 24 Sep. 2018 Requiring a background check on every gun sale can help ensure that domestic abusers, felons, and people with dangerous histories never gain access to guns in the first place. Shannon Watts, Vogue, "Toxic Masculinity Is Killing Us," 31 Jan. 2019 Investing more in features for power users will help ensure Twitter retains its place as the beating heart of breaking news around the world — and ignoring them creates opportunities for competitors. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Twitter is relaunching the reverse-chronological feed as an option for all users starting today," 18 Dec. 2018 The economics of menstruation matter — a good policy can help ensure that the cost of periods does not pose a barrier to anyone’s ability to obtain an education, live with dignity, and participate fully and productively in civic life. Jennifer Weiss-wolf, Teen Vogue, "Tampon Tax Struck Down in Nevada Vote," 7 Nov. 2018 From start to finish, ensuring a final product that's juicy and tender on the inside and crisp and brown on the outside is going to take time. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "How to Cook Perfectly Crispy Chicken Thighs Every Time," 25 Feb. 2019

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

18 May 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 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

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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