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 goal of my legislation is to ensure that all major platforms that sell political advertisements are held to the same rules of the road, something that is already required for television, radio and print political advertising. Cat Zakrzewski, Washington Post, "The Technology 202: Snap launches political ads library," 17 Sep. 2019 Press down gently with a finger to ensure that the bows are securely in place. Catherine Woram, Woman's Day, "Treats To Go," 9 Sep. 2019 Another purpose of Kennedy’s speech, his allies have said, was to ensure Mr. Biden would not cave. Alexander Burns, New York Times, "Biden Wants to Work With ‘the Other Side.’ This Supreme Court Battle Explains Why.," 7 Sep. 2019 Tasteful chains, which ensured the look truly went for gold. Vogue, "Gigi Hadid Brings Much-Needed Supermodel Glamour to the VMAs," 27 Aug. 2019 Winter is coming, but these eight products will ensure your skin doesn’t have to know. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Can You Prevent Dry Skin? 4 Expert Tips for Chilly Days Ahead," 13 Sep. 2019 Mayor Lori Lightfoot short-circuited one of her predecessor’s last deals Wednesday, announcing an agreement that ensures a clout-heavy scrap shredder abandons its troubled North Side operation by the end of next year. Michael Hawthorne, chicagotribune.com, "Reversing one of Emanuel’s last decisions, Lightfoot ensures clout-heavy scrap shredder leaves North Side by 2020," 12 Sep. 2019 The first is to ensure that its statutes are fully implemented. The Economist, "A singular opportunity," 12 Sep. 2019 That strategy hinges on developing accurate data to find would-be Trump voters and using the months-long head start over a still-unknown Democratic opponent to build a ground operation that ensures those voters are registered and get to the polls. Brian Bennett, Time, "Trump's New Math: Inside the Plan to Flip Blue States in 2020," 9 Sep. 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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Statistics for ensure

Last Updated

2 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for ensure

The first known use of ensure was in 1660

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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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