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From Middle English ensuren, from Anglo-Norman enseurer, from Old French seur (sure).



ensure (third-person singular simple present ensures, present participle ensuring, simple past and past participle ensured)

  1. (transitive) To make a pledge to (someone); to promise, guarantee (someone of something); to assure. [14th-18th c.]
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, “xvj”, in Le Morte Darthur, book XVI:
      Thenne he cryed hym mercy and sayd Faire knyght for goddes loue slee me not / and I shall ensure the neuer werre ageynst thy lady / but be alwey toward her / Thenne Bors lete hym be
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
  2. (intransitive) To make sure or certain of something (usually some future event or condition). [from 18th c.]
    I use an alarm clock to ensure that I get up on time.
    • 2013 August 10, Lexington, “Keeping the mighty honest”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8848:
      British journalists shun complete respectability, feeling a duty to be ready to savage the mighty, or rummage through their bins. Elsewhere in Europe, government contracts and subsidies ensure that press barons will only defy the mighty so far.

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