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

The children, this method assumed, would be too innocent to interfere with the selection process, ensuring as close to random candidates as possible. Michael Waters, Smithsonian, "When 6-Year-Olds Chose Jury Candidates," 11 July 2019 Many of the artisans have 30 plus years of experience and with an eye to the future, the Maison partners with local schools to offer apprenticeships ensuring the highest quality craftsmanship for future generations. Jasmine Contomichalos, Vogue, "Inside The Vogue100's Whirlwind Couture Week Tour," 9 July 2019 These development programs boast about having suppliers from all 50 states, which ensures widespread support in Congress. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Buzz Aldrin is looking forward, not back—and he has a plan to bring NASA along," 9 July 2019 The only solace for the Thunder this time: Adept negotiating by General Manager Sam Presti ensured that the team extracted the biggest single trade haul ever for sending George to the Clippers. Marc Stein, New York Times, "Are Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant and LeBron James Too Powerful?," 8 July 2019 Carnival has sought to improve its management of plastic waste, assigning employees to monitor trash containers on its ships, ensuring customers better separate trash, and testing machines that separate garbage automatically, Mr. Donald said. Kristin Broughton, WSJ, "Carnival, Under Court Order, Gives Compliance Unit More Independence," 8 July 2019 Still, most professionals agree that ensuring vegetation is regularly maintained can go a long way toward saving structures during a wildfire. San Diego Union-Tribune, "California’s not enforcing wildfire-prevention rules for homeowners, leaving tens of thousands of properties vulnerable to big blazes," 7 July 2019 Last month, to help council members as the public alike, Mann proposed providing childcare at night meetings, ensuring everyone really can come either to vote or as a citizen to voice their opinion. Sharon Coolidge, Cincinnati.com, "Council breaks for summer, but records show some members were already taking days off," 7 July 2019 On behalf of their foundation, the Leonards presented Eisenhower Pool with a plaque for the work leisure services has done to train lifeguards, offer swim lessons and ensure water safety at all four West Hartford outdoor pools. Lydia Gerike, courant.com, "‘A critical time of the year’: Stew and Kim Leonard remind adults to be vigilant, prevent accidental drownings," 5 July 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

13 Jul 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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