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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Recent attacks on Saudi Arabian oil tankers and pipelines are set to increase the cost of insuring and securing crude shipments in the Persian Gulf region, added expenses that will likely lead to higher oil prices, industry executives said. Summer Said, WSJ, "Attacks to Raise Security, Insurance Costs for Persian Gulf Oil Shipments," 14 May 2019 In a sign of mounting investor unease, the cost of insuring Turkish government bonds against default has more than tripled since January. David J. Lynch, The Seattle Times, "Global debt soars, along with fears of crisis ahead," 4 Sep. 2018 Gerasimopoulos, who is insured through Husky Health. courant.com, "Costs And Access Still Barriers To Health Care, Survey Finds," 6 June 2018 Mr Brazier also found that the cost of insuring against a bond issuer failing to repay, as measured by the credit-default-swap market, fell by 40% over the past two years. The Economist, "Where will the next crisis occur?," 1 May 2018 The cost of insuring South Korea’s sovereign bonds against non-payment fell 1.75 basis points to 44.75 basis points as of 6:10 p.m. in Seoul, Barclays Plc prices showed. Fortune, "'Korean War to End!' Trump Hails 2 Koreas' Deal to Pursue Denuclearization," 27 Apr. 2018 The cost of insuring South Korea’s sovereign bonds against non-payment fell 1.75 basis points to 44.75 basis points as of 6:10 p.m. in Seoul, Barclays Plc prices showed. Bloomberg.com, "Trump Hails Two Koreas’ Deal to End War, Pursue Denuclearization," 27 Apr. 2018 The combined insured natural catastrophe losses for the two year period between 2017-2018 was $219 billion, the highest ever over a two-year period. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Global Warming Is Already Costing the Insurance Industry Historic Amounts," 17 Apr. 2019 The court hearing on Tuesday was part of a lawsuit against Nathan Carman filed by National Liability and Fire Insurance Co., which insured Nathan Carman's boat. Fox News, "Lawyer: Evidence could exonerate man in grandfather's death," 18 Sep. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about insure

Statistics for insure

Last Updated

7 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for insure

The first known use of insure was in 1635

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on insure

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with insure

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insure

Spanish Central: Translation of insure

Nglish: Translation of insure for Spanish Speakers

Comments on insure

What made you want to look up insure? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!