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 Designating a decision-maker helps insure that choices will be guided by the patient’s priorities, not anyone else’s. Atul Gawande, The New Yorker, "Inside the Worst-Hit County in the Worst-Hit State in the Worst-Hit Country," 8 Feb. 2021 The council is bending over backwards to insure the spring sports don’t have to wait for other seasons to finish to have their athletes all to themselves. Mick Mccabe, Detroit Free Press, "MHSAA struggling to schedule, well, anything as pandemic maintains grip on life," 27 Dec. 2020 And 20-mm ammo is just not enough to insure penetration and destruction of newer, tougher enemy aircraft. Kevin Brown, Popular Mechanics, "A Fighter Pilot's Fighter Plane: PM Meets the F-15," 19 Nov. 2020 Combined Sanford and Intermountain would operate 70 hospitals, 435 medical clinics and 366 senior-care centers, as well as insure 1.1 million people. Joe Carlson, Star Tribune, "Rural Minnesota provider Sanford Health merging with system based in Salt Lake City," 26 Oct. 2020 Gibbs' rules included the Les Paul guitar and heavy-gauge strings to insure limited flexibility. David Lindquist, The Indianapolis Star, "Singer-songwriter Otis Gibbs is back home again in Indiana," 22 Oct. 2020 Higher costs could limit further the number of movies that studios bet on, particularly since the action-adventure genre that dominates the box office is also the most expensive to insure. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Movie Industry’s Troubles Still Far From Wrapping Up," 5 Oct. 2020 About half of Citizens’ policies insure South Florida homes and businesses. Ron Hurtibise, sun-sentinel.com, "Citizens Insurance wants steep rate hikes to discourage new customers," 16 Dec. 2020 The novel water-futures market will, among other things, offer those who use water a way to hedge (read: insure) against the risk of fluctuating water prices. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "The Capital Letter: Week of December 7," 12 Dec. 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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Statistics for insure

Last Updated

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insure. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on insure

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insure

Nglish: Translation of insure for Spanish Speakers

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