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 cost for employees to insure their families could go up by at least $120 a year and possibly by as much as about $400, depending on the plan selected, the union said. Leslie Postal, orlandosentinel.com, "Seminole teachers to vote on 3% raises, salary negotiations continue in Orange, Lake," 18 June 2019 Her brother and sister-in-law created the Lisa Boccard Breast Cancer fund to target uninsured or under-insured women throughout the county. Lisa J. Huriash, sun-sentinel.com, "Lisa Boccard, breast cancer advocate, dies at 57," 10 June 2019 Some who weren’t able to be insured until halfway through their pregnancy. Kelly Scott | Kscott@al.com, al.com, "Want to keep up with our motherhood coverage? Sign up for our newsletter," 9 June 2019 Recent attacks on Saudi Arabian oil tankers and pipelines are set to increase the cost of insuring and securing crude shipments in the Persian Gulf region, added expenses that will likely lead to higher oil prices, industry executives said. Summer Said, WSJ, "Attacks to Raise Security, Insurance Costs for Persian Gulf Oil Shipments," 14 May 2019 In a sign of mounting investor unease, the cost of insuring Turkish government bonds against default has more than tripled since January. David J. Lynch, The Seattle Times, "Global debt soars, along with fears of crisis ahead," 4 Sep. 2018 Gerasimopoulos, who is insured through Husky Health. courant.com, "Costs And Access Still Barriers To Health Care, Survey Finds," 6 June 2018 Mr Brazier also found that the cost of insuring against a bond issuer failing to repay, as measured by the credit-default-swap market, fell by 40% over the past two years. The Economist, "Where will the next crisis occur?," 1 May 2018 The cost of insuring South Korea’s sovereign bonds against non-payment fell 1.75 basis points to 44.75 basis points as of 6:10 p.m. in Seoul, Barclays Plc prices showed. Fortune, "'Korean War to End!' Trump Hails 2 Koreas' Deal to Pursue Denuclearization," 27 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

21 Jun 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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