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

Howard was insured by Georgia Medicaid, a program for the underprivileged that was funded by both the state and federal government. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Anorexic woman is given choice to seek out-of-state medical treatment or die," 25 May 2018 Airplanes, one of them powered by GE engines, crashed into the World Trade Center towers, insured by GE Capital. Geoff Colvin, Fortune, "What the Hell Happened at GE?," 24 May 2018 The rule bars financial institutions from making risky bets with money that is insured by taxpayers. Donna Borak, CNN, "House sends bill loosening banking regulations to Trump's desk," 22 May 2018 To insure a spot email MilitaryMoms@MurrietaCA.gov by Thursday, May 3. Nicole Miller-coleman, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Murrieta salutes military moms and spouses," 22 Apr. 2018 The complex is fully insured but the building with 70 apartments is a total loss, part of a trail of ruin through the whole state. Mark Strassmann, CBS News, ""We didn't know when it was going to be over": Alabama hit with devastating tornadoes," 20 Mar. 2018 Health-insurance bills are surfacing in Olympia this session with the goal of insuring more Washingtonians and stabilizing the individual-insurance market. Ryan Blethen, The Seattle Times, "Bill by bill, Democrats are trying to create a stable state health-insurance system," 26 Jan. 2018 The Papa John’s founder got slammed in 2012 for saying that the cost of insuring his employees under the Affordable Care Act would raise the cost of pizza, which led to pushback from customers. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Papa John’s founder resigns as chairman after using a racial slur on a call," 12 July 2018 But union leaders argue that millions of Californians remain under-insured — unable to afford medical care because of high-deductible plans and premium costs. Jaclyn Cosgrove, latimes.com, "Nonprofit hospitals are being less charitable. They say that shows Obamacare is working," 12 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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Learn More about insure

Phrases Related to insure

insure against

the insured

Statistics for insure

Last Updated

27 Sep 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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Comments on insure

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evasion of direct action or statement

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