verb in·sure \ in-ˈshu̇r , -ˈshər- \
|Updated on: 5 Jul 2018

Definition of insure

insured; insuring
1 : to provide or obtain insurance on or for
2 : to make certain especially by taking necessary measures and precautions
: to contract to give or take insurance

Examples of insure in a Sentence

  1. 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 SafireNew York Times Magazine24 Aug. 1986
  2. … his sudden fame probably insured a backlash. —Calvin TomkinsNew Yorker6 Dec. 1982
  3. 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 HardwickEmma, Lady Hamilton1969
  4. We insured our house against fire and flood damage.

  5. I found a company that will insure my car for less than I've been paying.

  6. This policy will insure your car against theft.

  7. She had difficulty finding a company that would insure her.

  8. They take great care to insure the safety and security of their home.

  9. We hope that careful planning will insure success.

Recent Examples of insure from the Web

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.

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”).

Origin and Etymology of insure

Middle English, to assure, probably alteration of assuren

insure Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of 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

INSURE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of insure for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids


verb in·sure \ in-ˈshu̇r \

Definition of insure for Students

insured; insuring
1 : to give or get insurance on or for
  • I insured my car.
2 : to make certain
  • I want to insure your safety.



Law Dictionary


verb in·sure \ in-ˈshu̇r \

legal Definition of insure

insured; insuring
: 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
: to contract to give insurance : underwrite; also : to procure or effect insurance

Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


peaceful, happy, or prosperous

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Test Your Emoji Exceptionalism

  • test-your-emoji-exceptionalism-written-with-a-lot-of-emoji
  • What is this emoji intended to represent: 🤳
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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