insure

verb
in·sure | \ in-ˈshu̇r , -ˈshər- \
insured; insuring

Definition of insure 

transitive verb

1 : to provide or obtain insurance on or for

2 : to make certain especially by taking necessary measures and precautions

intransitive verb

: to contract to give or take insurance

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Choose the Right Synonym for insure

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 insure in a Sentence

He found the language not obscene … but did find it intentionally disruptive, and held that school officials had the right to insure that a high-school assembly proceed in an orderly manner, without hoots and howls and all that snickering. —William Safire, New York Times Magazine, 24 Aug. 1986 … his sudden fame probably insured a backlash. —Calvin Tomkins, New Yorker, 6 Dec. 1982 The fact that by supplying his uncle with an amusing mistress he would insure against any awkward second marriage was merely a fortunate coincidence. —Mollie Hardwick, Emma, Lady Hamilton, 1969 We insured our house against fire and flood damage. I found a company that will insure my car for less than I've been paying. This policy will insure your car against theft. She had difficulty finding a company that would insure her. They take great care to insure the safety and security of their home. We hope that careful planning will insure success.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The Papa John’s founder got slammed in 2012 for saying that the cost of insuring his employees under the Affordable Care Act would raise the cost of pizza, which led to pushback from customers. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Papa John’s founder resigns as chairman after using a racial slur on a call," 12 July 2018 But union leaders argue that millions of Californians remain under-insured — unable to afford medical care because of high-deductible plans and premium costs. Jaclyn Cosgrove, latimes.com, "Nonprofit hospitals are being less charitable. They say that shows Obamacare is working," 12 June 2018 The systems help reduce insurance premiums and claims costs for fleet operators – many of whom are self-insured. Mike Freeman, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego's Lytx brings in new investors to support growth in fleet video technologies," 6 Apr. 2018 Most insurers recommend insuring for replacement value. Ron Hurtibise, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Do you have enough homeowner insurance? Here's how to find out," 13 July 2018 UConn and the State of Connecticut will be named as the parties insured. Kathleen Megan, courant.com, "UConn Trustees Approve Sale Of West Hartford Campus to Financial Tech Company," 6 July 2018 Jeff Clayton, executive director of the American Bail Coalition, whose members insure bail agents, says Google gave the industry no opportunity to comment on or appeal the ban. Greg Ip, WSJ, "How Google and Facebook Are Monopolizing Ideas," 4 July 2018 Within minutes, flames engulfed the school's three buses — including a large bus the school just got and insured last week and had yet to be used. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Wasilla Christian school loses 3 buses in fire linked to fuel theft," 5 June 2018 Since the financial crisis, when savers flocked to federally insured bank deposits, lenders have accumulated billions in additional deposits. Rachel Louise Ensign, WSJ, "These Bank Customers Are Making a Bundle on Their Deposits," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'insure.' 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 insure

1635, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for insure

Middle English, to assure, probably alteration of assuren

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Learn More about insure

Phrases Related to insure

insure against

the insured

Statistics for insure

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for insure

The first known use of insure was in 1635

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More Definitions for insure

insure

verb

English Language Learners Definition of insure

: to buy insurance for (something, such as property or health)

: to provide insurance for (something, such as property or health); also : to provide (someone) with insurance

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

insure

verb
in·sure | \ in-ˈshu̇r \
insured; insuring

Kids Definition of insure

1 : to give or get insurance on or for I insured my car.

2 : to make certain I want to insure your safety.

Other words from insure

insurer noun

insure

verb
in·sure | \ in-ˈshu̇r \
insured; insuring

Legal Definition of insure 

transitive verb

: to assure against a loss by a contingent event on certain stipulated conditions or at a given rate of premium : give, take, or procure insurance on or for

intransitive verb

: to contract to give insurance : underwrite also : to procure or effect insurance

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Comments on insure

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