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 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 Since a number of these plans are large, a collapse could cause the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), the federal agency that insures the benefits of private-sector pensions, to become insolvent. Joel Naroff, Philly.com, "The looming retirement crisis for public and private employees," 12 July 2018 The theft is not expected to impact those services in Charlotte or the rest of the Carolinas, because the nonprofit is insured, officials said. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "Nearly $230,000 embezzled at Salvation Army’s Carolinas headquarters in Charlotte," 20 Feb. 2018 Of the 374 who died, about 90 percent were more than 60 years old, about 95 percent were insured and about 83 percent were receiving hospice or similar care. Washington Post, "Nearly 400 people used California assisted death law in 2017," 24 June 2018 The bill also creates a fraud authority in the Attorney General's Office to investigate complaints of fraud by either insurance companies or the people who are insured. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan Senate passes auto insurance rate relief for seniors," 7 June 2018 The new shift will involve employers that begin using UnitedHealth’s pharmacy-benefit manager, OptumRx, including those that are self-insured, which is the vast majority... Anna Wilde Mathews, WSJ, "UnitedHealth to Require Drug Rebates Go to Consumers," 12 Mar. 2019 Yoder’s family of six lives in Fort Defiance, Virginia, and had been insured last year through her husband Nevin’s job as a nurse practitioner. John Tozzi, Bloomberg.com, "What It’s Like Living Without Health Insurance in America," 3 Apr. 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.

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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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Learn More about insure

Statistics for insure

Last Updated

24 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for insure

The first known use of insure was in 1635

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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

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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

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