November 22, 2013
ensure (verb)
\in-SHOOR\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to make sure, certain, or safe : guarantee
How do you use it?
"Miss Bingley was venting her feelings in criticisms on Elizabeth's person, behaviour, and dress. But Georgiana would not join her. Her brother's recommendation was enough to ensure her favour." (Jane Austen, _Pride and Prejudice_)
Are you a word wiz?

Just to ensure that you understand the meaning of today's Buzzword, we're going to ask you to tell us which of the words below you think is a synonym of "ensure."

Let us assure you that answer B is the correct choice. Like "ensure," "assure" means to make a thing or person sure. "Ensure," "assure," and a third synonym, "insure," are interchangeable in many contexts when they indicate making a particular outcome certain or inevitable. But there are some differences. "Assure" distinctively implies the removal of doubt from a person's mind, and "insure" sometimes stresses the taking of necessary measures beforehand. "Secure" is another word in this group of synonyms. It implies taking action to guard against attack or loss.
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