insure

verb
in·​sure | \ in-ˈshu̇r , -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 difference is paid by patients who aren’t insured or who pay co-insurance calculated on list prices. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Drug Price-Control Threat," 8 Jan. 2019 Robinhood also said that the feature would be insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), rather than the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Following criticism, Robinhood backtracks on checking and savings feature," 15 Dec. 2018 Munich Re's Rauch said about 30 to 50 percent of storm damage is usually insured in the United States but often less than 10 percent in developing countries, meaning nine-tenths of the people hit will end up shouldering a bigger economic burden. Seth Borenstein, Fox News, "US hurricane, Asian typhoon: 1 brings water, the other, wind," 16 Sep. 2018 Cubanski said that the Trump administration's effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act's mandate that requires nearly everyone be insured is one factor that will lead to higher Medicare hospital fund spending. Jayne O'donnell And Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, "Medicare's hospital fund could run out of money by 2026, trustees report says," 5 June 2018 Additionally, make sure the contractor is properly insured. The Courier-Journal, "How to separate the good from the bad when taking on a house project with a new contractor," 20 May 2018 The burns will be done by Raven Environmental Services, which is insured and licensed through the Texas Department of Agriculture. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, "Best way to revitalize the Mission Reach is burn it — very carefully," 18 May 2018 The rules add two broad exemptions from the ACA's requirement that most consumers be insured. The Washington Post, OregonLive.com, "Revised ACA insurance rules shift more power to states," 9 Apr. 2018 Igor Yurgens, president of the Russian Union of Insurance Companies, told state television that individual shops were insured but the mall does not appear to have an insurance policy. Nataliya Vasilyeva, BostonGlobe.com, "64 killed in fire at Russian shopping mall," 26 Mar. 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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Statistics for insure

Last Updated

15 Feb 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 \
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 \
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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