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 The property, business and related income was insured for up to $2 million by the United States Liability Insurance Co. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bar owner indicted on arson and fraud charges in 2017 fire that damaged his downtown Waukesha building," 9 Dec. 2019 Health insurance is expected to pay for the treatment itself, and all Commodore employees are insured. BostonGlobe.com, "Construction firm launches program to aid addicted workers - The Boston Globe," 25 Nov. 2019 Uber also allowed dismissed or suspended drivers to create new accounts, and permitted the use of cars that weren’t properly insured. David Meyer, Fortune, "‘Not Fit and Proper:’ How Uber Could Lose 1 of Its Top 5 Markets," 25 Nov. 2019 The report relied on five years of data from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Index, which is based on health-insurance claims from more than 41 million Blue Cross Blue Shield members who are commercially insured. Emma Court / Bloomberg, Time, "Millennials' Chronic Health Problems Will Limit Their Lifetime Earnings, Report Says," 6 Nov. 2019 Those who are insured still spend hours seeking reimbursements or permission for treatment. Sue Mcmillin, The Denver Post, "McMillin: Looking for a day when Colorado’s health insurance enrollment isn’t open season," 24 Oct. 2019 If a hurricane strikes your destination, you would be reimbursed if you had been insured beforehand and if the hurricane had been named by the World Meteorological Organization. Los Angeles Times, "Are you paying too much for travel insurance?," 21 Oct. 2019 This includes confirming that drivers are licensed, drug tested and background checked, vehicles are insured, and performing annual safety inspections on vehicles. CBS News, "Many taxi companies in U.S. aren't required to fix cabs after safety recalls," 23 Dec. 2019 Although he was insured through Nerds on Call, the costs for his care still added up. Renee Dudley, ProPublica, "The Ransomware Superhero of Normal, Illinois," 28 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for insure

Time Traveler

The first known use of insure was in 1635

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Statistics for insure

Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Insure.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insure. Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for insure

insure

verb
How to pronounce insure (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on insure

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insure

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with insure

Spanish Central: Translation of insure

Nglish: Translation of insure for Spanish Speakers

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