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 Beijing’s top priority has always been to ensure that the city’s politics do not undermine national security. Brian Wong, Time, "Hong Kong's Peaceful Elections Have Created a Chance for Dialogue That All Parties Must Take," 25 Nov. 2019 The new officer’s primary job is to ensure that the digital tools used to collect information and deliver services aren’t hobbled by implicit or explicit bias. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Stacey Abrams Carries the Fight Against Voter Suppression," 22 Nov. 2019 Delbridge said hospital leaders have agreed to take steps to ensure everyone is using alerts for the same kinds of conditions. John Diedrich, jsonline.com, "Some busy hospitals say they must turn away ambulances. Here's how one state banned the practice," 22 Nov. 2019 There is only one way to ensure the shop ends up in the right hands and that is a Christmas cake bake-off. Dan Snierson, EW.com, "Everything you need to know about all 105 new Christmas TV movies," 22 Nov. 2019 The goal of this initial distribution is to ensure that interested residents have an opportunity to take a brick home before mass pickups occur. John Benson, cleveland, "Lakewood giving out bricks from recently demolished hospital building," 20 Nov. 2019 The most important thing for any changes in Québec will be to ensure that the new rules do not harm women in the legislature, but instead gives them the freedom to dress in a way that doesn’t reduce them to their gender identity. Arnaud Montreuil, Quartz at Work, "Is the world ready for politicians to dress in workplace casual?," 20 Nov. 2019 Web standardization plays a crucial role not only for interoperability, but also for ensuring user trust in the technology, including the security and privacy guarantees. Wired, "Opinion: Websites Ask for Permissions And Attack Forgiveness," 19 Nov. 2019 The government expects banana production to return to pre-Maria levels, and, to ensure food security, distributed seeds to farmers for other staple crops like dasheen, yams, potatoes, and passion fruit, which are are sold locally. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "This Caribbean island is on track to become the world’s first 'hurricane-proof' country," 19 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for ensure

Time Traveler

The first known use of ensure was in 1660

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Statistics for ensure

Last Updated

30 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Ensure.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ensure?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=e&file=ensure01. Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for ensure

ensure

verb
How to pronounce ensure (audio)

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

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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