insure

verb
in·​sure | \ in-ˈshu̇r How to pronounce insure (audio) , -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 These policies, called Dwelling Fire policies, are meant to insure structures against fire, wind and hail damage, while leaving tenants to buy their own insurance to cover their own contents. Ron Hurtibise, sun-sentinel.com, "Insurers are dropping homeowners left and right. Many will be forced to accept less coverage," 28 Mar. 2021 Pennsylvania Republicans would like to insure that mailed ballots that are not received by 8 P.M. on Election Day—even if they are postmarked before that day—are not counted. Sue Halpern, The New Yorker, "The Republican War on Voting," 18 Mar. 2021 The measure extends and expands help for nonprofits that self-insure unemployment benefits. Star Tribune, "Nonprofits hail anti-poverty aspects of COVID relief measure," 12 Mar. 2021 But three government agencies -- the Federal Housing Administration, the US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of Veterans Affairs -- insure loans to protect lenders from loss. Anna Bahney, CNN, "How to buy a home with no down payment," 3 Mar. 2021 New Medicaid compromises could leave some states with safety-net programs that, while covering more people, don’t insure as many as Democrats would like. al, "Biden has chance to cut Medicaid deal with Alabama, other red states," 18 Feb. 2021 New Medicaid compromises could leave some states with safety net programs that, while covering more people, don’t insure as many as Democrats would like. Noam N. Levey, USA TODAY, "Why Biden has an unexpected chance to expand Medicaid in red state holdouts," 17 Feb. 2021 Modern versions of Tetris insure that players see each piece semi-regularly and let players hold a piece for later use, but classic Tetris allows no such luxuries. Jacob Sweet, The New Yorker, "The Revolution in Classic Tetris," 26 Mar. 2021 The Subaru Outback, a 2020-21 IIHS top safety pick for midsize cars, topped NerdWallet's analysis of the cheapest cars to insure among 2020s 25 most-popular vehicles. Kayda Norman, Star Tribune, "How the car you drive can raise your auto insurance rates," 20 Mar. 2021

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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Statistics for insure

Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insure. Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

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

insure

verb
in·​sure | \ in-ˈshu̇r How to pronounce insure (audio) \
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 How to pronounce insure (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on insure

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insure

Nglish: Translation of insure for Spanish Speakers

Comments on insure

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