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From Old French ensu- [1], stem of some conjugated forms of ensivre (follow close upon, come afterward) (French ensuivre), from Latin īnsequere, from īnsequi (to pursue, follow, follow after; come next), from in- (upon) (see in-) + sequi (follow) (see sequel).


  • (US) IPA(key): /ɪnˈsuː/
  • (UK) IPA(key): /ɪnˈsjuː/, /ɪnˈʃuː/, /ɛnˈsjuː/, /ɛnˈʃuː/
  • (General Australian) IPA(key): /ɛnˈsjʉː/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uː


ensue (third-person singular simple present ensues, present participle ensuing, simple past and past participle ensued)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To follow (a leader, inclination etc.). [15th–17th c.]
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.ii:
      to ripenesse of mans state they grew: / Then shewing forth signes of their fathers blood, / They loued armes, and knighthood did ensew, / Seeking aduentures [...].
    • 1606, G. W. Justine, transl., The Historie of Justine:
      To ensue his example in doynge the like mischiefe.
  2. (obsolete, transitive) To follow (in time), to be subsequent to. [15th–17th c.]
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, translated by John Florio, Essays, III.11:
      Oh how many changes are like to ensue this reformation!
  3. (intransitive) To occur afterwards, as a result or effect. [from 16th c.]
    Give three freshmen six bottles of wine, and hilarity will ensue.
    • 1593, anonymous author, The Life and Death of Iacke Straw [], Act I:
      After ſo bad a beginning, whats like to inſue?
    • 1960 December, “Talking of Trains: The riding of B.R. coaches”, in Trains Illustrated, page 705:
      Nor, having married coach and bogie design successfully, does it follow that good riding will ensue, whatever the track carrying it—as the performance of B.R. standard coaches on flat-bottom, concrete-sleepered track bears witness.


Related terms[edit]



  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “ensue”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.