en·​sue in-ˈsü How to pronounce ensue (audio)
ensued; ensuing

transitive verb

: to strive to attain : pursue
I wander, seeking peace, and ensuing it Rupert Brooke

intransitive verb

: to take place afterward or as a result
Choose the Right Synonym for ensue

follow, succeed, ensue, supervene mean to come after something or someone.

follow may apply to a coming after in time, position, or logical sequence.

speeches followed the dinner

succeed implies a coming after immediately in a sequence determined by natural order, inheritance, election, or laws of rank.

she succeeded her father as head of the business

ensue commonly suggests a logical consequence or naturally expected development.

after the talk a general discussion ensued

supervene suggests the following or beginning of something unforeseen or unpredictable.

unable to continue because of supervening circumstances

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The officials stopped action before any mayhem could ensue, but Twitter loved it. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, 13 Nov. 2022 Since Congress will need to pass legislation to raise the debt ceiling early next year, a showdown could ensue over the federal government's borrowing limit, Salisbury noted. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, 8 Nov. 2022 The unions that voted down the agreement have vowed to continue negotiations at least until Nov. 19, when a strike could ensue. Max Zahn, ABC News, 27 Oct. 2022 If the field draws in more consumer electronics companies, Kelley said, all sorts of innovation could ensue. Jon Healey, Los Angeles Times, 17 Oct. 2022 Since filming the first installation of the iconic film franchise, the starlets have remained close friends and with a friendship like theirs, pranks are bound to ensue. Chaise Sanders, Country Living, 13 Oct. 2022 With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, the holiday cooking madness will ensue in the next couple of months. Sara Coughlin, SELF, 20 Oct. 2022 When the stock price of a shorted stock rises, a short squeeze can ensue, forcing the price to rise even more dramatically. Q.ai - Powering A Personal Wealth Movement, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2022 Then a debate would ensue about what condiment to use with salami and eggs. Ellyn Laub, Sun Sentinel, 15 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ensue.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French ensivre (3rd singular ensiut), from en- + sivre to follow — more at sue

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of ensue was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near ensue

Cite this Entry

“Ensue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ensue. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



en·​sue in-ˈsü How to pronounce ensue (audio)
ensued; ensuing
: to come at a later time or as a result : follow
ensuing effects

More from Merriam-Webster on ensue

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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