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

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

Yturralde said the robbery left Himmel, who was not insured for the jewelry loss, in debt and despondent. Pauline Repard, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Robber gets 15 years for $1.5M jewel theft, assault in University Town Center," 12 July 2018 By 2015, 29% of dying patients insured by Medicare spent part of their final month of life in the ICU. Melissa Healy, latimes.com, "Fewer Americans are spending their final days in the hospital and more are dying at home," 27 June 2018 The Kansas City area has seven detox centers, but only two take people who aren't insured, according to First Call. Andy Marso, kansascity, "Overdoses, prison, scant treatment: Mother's story shows state of KC’s opioid crisis," 26 June 2018 The program, called RideSafe, works by connecting a customer’s Uber or Lyft account to their SURE Insurance app, and once coverage is initially authorized, the passenger’s ride is automatically insured. Washington Post, "Startup launches insurance for Uber, Lyft passengers," 14 June 2018 The total costs for a typical family of four insured by the most common health plan offered by employers will average $28,166 this year, according to the annual Milliman Medical Index. Guy Boulton, USA TODAY, "You'll be shocked at the price of health care for a family of four," 6 June 2018 Massive study finds nearly half of US feels alone, young adults most of all More than nine million commercially insured Americans in the index are affected by major depression. Fiza Pirani, ajc, "Major depression diagnoses in US up 33 percent since 2013, study finds," 11 May 2018 Parents pleaded with Congress to keep their children insured. Tami Luhby And Betsy Klein, CNN, "White House requests cuts to children's health insurance funding," 8 May 2018 Howard was insured by Georgia Medicaid, a program for the underprivileged that was funded by both the state and federal government. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Anorexic woman is given choice to seek out-of-state medical treatment or die," 25 May 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

8 Nov 2018

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

: 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

full of whispering sounds

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!