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 Michigan becomes the latest state to try and ensure that Trump is the only Republican appearing on presidential primary ballots. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan GOP wants Trump to be only Republican candidate on presidential primary ballot," 12 Nov. 2019 Denver is looking to adopt a mobile crisis intervention program started in Oregon that ensures medics and crisis workers, not police, respond to mental health calls. Jennifer Sarrett, The Conversation, "To stop police shootings of people with mental health disabilities, I asked them what cops – and everyone – could do to help," 12 Nov. 2019 Judges can and should rigorously investigate whether secrecy is warranted and ensure that the standards for secrecy are met before documents are protected or sealed. Alexander Egilman, STAT, "Confidentiality orders in drug, device lawsuits harm patients and the public," 11 Nov. 2019 That venison should not be thrown out by the individual; rather, contact a WFF official or enforcement officer who will ensure its proper disposal. Frank Sargeant, al, "Alabama DCNR cautions hunters on possible CWD in deer," 11 Nov. 2019 The digitization project strives to both introduce a wider audience to the art of Puerto Rico and ensure that there is a space for the island’s precious cultural works to be seen and enjoyed. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Lin-Manuel Miranda Teams Up With Google to Digitize Puerto Rico’s Art," 11 Nov. 2019 Julio Garza broke up a pass in the end zone on third down and linebacker Jose Ruiz’s deflection on fourth down ensured that Pasadena would win its third straight Pride Bowl, one shy of the record of four set back in the 1960s. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Pasadena stops late Sam Rayburn threat to nab Pride Bowl Trophy 26-21," 9 Nov. 2019 Using SOPs, veterans know how to bring efficiencies to hard problems like getting products onto shelves on time, and ensuring the product is tested by a reputable laboratory. Socrates Rosenfeld, Quartz, "Military veterans are the future of weed entrepreneurship," 9 Nov. 2019 The win gave Santa Rosa (4-5, 3-0) the North Bay League-Redwood title and ensured it a spot in the NCS Division 3 playoffs. Mitch Stephens, SFChronicle.com, "Riordan opens new field, ends 16-game WCAL losing streak," 9 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

16 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Ensure.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ensuring. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for ensure


How to pronounce ensure (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ensure

: to make (something) sure, certain, or safe


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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strength of mind

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