insure

verb
in·​sure | \ in-ˈshu̇r How to pronounce insure (audio) , -ˈshər- \
insured; insuring

Essential Meaning of insure

1 : to buy insurance for (something, such as property or health) He insured the boat. We insured our house against fire and flood damage.
2 : to provide insurance for (something, such as property or health) I found a company that will insure my car for less than I've been paying. This policy will insure your car against theft. also : to provide (someone) with insurance She had difficulty finding a company that would insure her.
3 US : to make (something) sure, certain, or safe : ensure They take great care to insure the safety and security of their home. We hope that careful planning will insure success.

Full 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

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 Each plan decides which specific drugs to insure per category. cleveland, 19 Dec. 2021 In other words, to build on its recent gains and insure its long-term success, Texas will have to do what Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, the Bay Area, Seattle and New York have failed to do. Greg Jefferson, San Antonio Express-News, 17 Dec. 2021 Insurance experts presented a gloomy forecast for anyone hoping that the cost to insure homes and businesses in Florida might stabilize or even fall anytime soon. Ron Hurtibise, sun-sentinel.com, 3 Dec. 2021 This short-sided, biased decision will send ripples throughout our format to continue to insure that the message is sent that country music can only be for the limited few that enjoy the same perspective. Chris Willman, Variety, 12 Oct. 2021 Of course, no one knows what the future may hold, but waiting until 70 to start drawing your retirement benefits is a good way to insure against outliving your assets. Laurence Kotlikoff, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 Meanwhile, Treasury markets may be exaggerating how high inflation is expected to go, as a result of some investors seeking to insure against worst-case scenarios. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, 8 June 2021 Many philanthropies, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, have launched serious efforts to insure that the vaccine is not available only in rich countries. Michael Specter, The New Yorker, 4 Dec. 2020 The administration used the figures released Wednesday to highlight that the decision to open the marketplaces this year has fostered the president's goal of helping to insure racial and ethnic groups hit hardest in the pandemic. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 16 Sep. 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

Learn More About insure

Dictionary Entries Near insure

insurant

insure

insure against

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for insure

Last Updated

20 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Insure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insure. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for insure

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

Nglish: Translation of insure for Spanish Speakers

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