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 Credit-default swaps insuring the company’s debt through December jumped to 367 basis points, up from 257 on Friday, according to ICE Data Services. Alan Levin, Fortune, "Boeing stock plunges again after coronavirus bailout quest spooks investors," 18 Mar. 2020 In a statement, HUD said the moratorium applies to Federal Housing Administration-insured single-family mortgages for 60 days, as well as Home Equity Conversion mortgages, or reverse mortgages. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and HUD to suspend foreclosures," 18 Mar. 2020 In Africa few farms are insured, so there is less pressure. The Economist, "Severe swarms East Africa is reeling from an invasion of locusts," 1 Feb. 2020 The Fool responds: It’s a federal agency that insures benefits in private traditional pension plans. Dallas News, "Motley Fool: We think Goodyear has good years ahead, and this week’s trivia," 8 Mar. 2020 Gopnik marvels at the completeness of the Union victory, which insured that secession is rarely considered anymore. The New Yorker, "The Mail," 2 Mar. 2020 Other Pugh customers include CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and Kaiser Permanente, which insure city employees. CBS News, "Former Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh gets 3 years in prison for children's book scheme," 27 Feb. 2020 Other Pugh customers include CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and Kaiser Permanente, which insure city employees. Regina Garcia Cano, USA TODAY, "Former Baltimore mayor sentenced to 3 years in children's book fraud scheme," 27 Feb. 2020 Volatility rose to its highest level in a month and the cost of derivatives that insure against price spikes increased. BostonGlobe.com, "Stories you may have missed from the world of business," 5 Jan. 2020

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

Time Traveler for insure

Time Traveler

The first known use of insure was in 1635

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Statistics for insure

Last Updated

28 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Insure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insure. Accessed 30 Mar. 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

Comments on insure

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