9 Commonly Confused Pairs_9



[en-shoor, -shur]
Insure and ensure are kindred souls in their etymology as both are derived from the Anglo-French ensurer or "to make sure." Ensure means "to secure or guarantee" as well as "to making something secure or safe from harm." Insure means about the same thing, "to guarantee against loss or harm" but insure often indicates an "insurance policy" or contract for which one pays to mend or replace the things they want to ensure... insure.


tr.v. en·sureden·sur·ingen·sures
To make sure or certain; insure: Our precautions ensured our safety. See Usage Note at assure.

[Middle English ensuren, from Anglo-Norman enseurer : Old French en-causative pref.; see en-1 + Old French seur,secure, variant of sur; see sure.]


 (ɛnˈʃʊə; -ˈʃɔːor insure
vb (tr)
1. (may take a clause as object) to make certain or sure; guarantee: this victory will ensure his happiness.
2. to make safe or secure; protect
enˈsurer n


 (ɛnˈʃʊər, -ˈʃɜr) 

v.t. -sured, -sur•ing.
1. to secure or guarantee: This letter will ensure you a hearing.
2. to make sure or certain.
3. to make secure or safe, as from harm.
[1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French enseurer. See en-1sure]
en•sur′er, n.


v. in·suredin·sur·ingin·sures
a. To provide or arrange insurance for: a company that insures homeowners and businesses.
b. To acquire or have insurance for: insured herself against losses; insured his car for theft.
2. To make sure, certain, or secure. See Usage Note at assure.
To buy or sell insurance.

[Middle English ensurento assure, from Old French enseurer, possibly variant of assurer; see assure.]

in·sur′a·bil′i·ty n.
in·sur′a·ble adj.


 (ɪnˈʃʊə; -ˈʃɔː)
1. (often foll by against) to guarantee or protect (against risk, loss, etc): we insured against disappointment by making an early reservation.
2. (Insurance) (often foll by against) to issue (a person) with an insurance policy or take out an insurance policy (on): his house was heavily insured against fireafter all his car accidents the company refuses to insure him again.
3. another word (esp US) for ensure1ensure2
Also (rare) (for senses 1, 2): ensure inˈsurable adj inˌsuraˈbility n


 (ɪnˈʃʊər, -ˈʃɜr) 

v. -sured, -sur•ing. v.t.
1. to guarantee against loss or harm.
2. to secure indemnity to or on, in case of loss, damage, or death.
3. to issue or procure an insurance policy on or for.
5. to issue or procure an insurance policy.
[1400–50; late Middle English; variant of ensure]
in•sur`a•bil′i•ty, n.