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

If Measure 106 passes, low-income women insured by Oregon’s Medicaid program would pay out of pocket for the procedure. Gillian Flaccus, The Seattle Times, "Bid to ban state funds for abortions tests open Oregon laws," 30 Oct. 2018 Investors are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. up to $250,000. Eric Uhlfelder, WSJ, "How to Find Decent Yields on Savings," 7 Oct. 2018 That 1 percent is privately insured by Lloyds of London, Hirji said, offering another layer of protection. Brian Fung, chicagotribune.com, "Coinbase is building a cryptocurrency empire," 18 May 2018 Jim is insured by Blue Cross in Illinois because his company is headquartered in Chicago. Stu Bykofsky, Philly.com, "Blue Cross ends double cross for woman in coma | Stu Bykofsky," 5 Apr. 2018 This helps the manufacturer to insure product quality and consistency at the consumer’s end. Emma Sarran Webster, Allure, "6 of the Best Teeth-Whitening Kits in the Drugstore," 13 Sep. 2018 Inclusivity is also built into the clothes; a variety of fit models (including relatives) are used to insure the pieces fit women of different body shapes and sizes. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Up Your Sustainable Style Game the Scandi Way in Envelope1976, the New Brand by Influencer Celine Aagaard," 24 Aug. 2018 Yturralde said the robbery left Himmel, who was not insured for the jewelry loss, in debt and despondent. Pauline Repard, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Robber gets 15 years for $1.5M jewel theft, assault in University Town Center," 12 July 2018 By 2015, 29% of dying patients insured by Medicare spent part of their final month of life in the ICU. Melissa Healy, latimes.com, "Fewer Americans are spending their final days in the hospital and more are dying at home," 27 June 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

6 Dec 2018

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

: 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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