Etymology
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insure (v.)
mid-15c., insuren, spelling variant of ensuren "to assure, give formal assurance" (late 14c.), also "make secure, make safe" (c. 1400), from Anglo-French enseurer, Old French ensurer, from en- "make" (see en- (1)) + seur, sur "safe, secure, undoubted" (see sure (adj.)).

The particular commercial senses of "make safe against loss by payment of premiums; undertake to ensure against loss, etc." are from mid-17c. (replacing assure in that meaning). Related: Insured; insuring.
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insurer (n.)
1650s, agent noun from insure (v.).
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insurable (adj.)
1786, from insure (v.) + -able. Related: Insurability.
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ensure (v.)
late 14c., from Anglo-French enseurer, from en- "make" (see en- (1)) + Old French seur "sure" (see sure); probably influenced by Old French asseurer "assure." Compare insure. Related: Ensured; ensures; ensuring.
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insurance (n.)
1550s, "engagement to marry," a variant of ensurance "an assurance, pledge, guarantee," from Old French enseurance "assurance," from ensurer, from en- "make" (see en- (1)) + sur "safe, secure, undoubted" (see sure (adj.)).

Commercial sense of "security against loss or death in exchange for payment" is from 1650s. Assurance was the older word for this specific sense (late 16c.). Compare insure.
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en- (1)
word-forming element meaning "in; into," from French and Old French en-, from Latin in- "in, into" (from PIE root *en "in"). Typically assimilated before -p-, -b-, -m-, -l-, and -r-. Latin in- became en- in French, Spanish, Portuguese, but remained in- in Italian.

Also used with native and imported elements to form verbs from nouns and adjectives, with a sense "put in or on" (encircle), also "cause to be, make into" (endear), and used as an intensive (enclose). Spelling variants in French that were brought over into Middle English account for parallels such as ensure/insure, and most en- words in English had at one time or another a variant in in-, and vice versa.
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tip (v.2)

"give a small present of money to," c. 1600, originally "to give, hand, pass," thieves' cant, perhaps from tip (v.3) "to tap." The meaning "give a gratuity to" is first attested 1706. The noun in this sense is from 1755; the noun meaning "piece of confidential information" is from 1845; and the verb in the sense "give private information to" is from 1883.

The popularity of the tale of the word's supposed origin as an acronym in mid-18th century English taverns seems to be no older than Frederick W. Hackwood's 1909 book "Inns, Ales and Drinking Customs of Old England," where it was said to stand for To insure promptitude (in the form to insure promptness the anecdote is told from 1946). A reviewer of the book in The Athenaeum of Oct. 2, 1909, wrote, "We deprecate the careless repetition of popular etymologies such as the notion that "tip" originated from an abbreviated inscription on a box placed on the sideboard in old coaching-inns, the full meaning of which was "To Insure Promptitude." Also see here.

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gage (n.)
"a pledge, a pawn, something valuable deposited to insure performance," especially "something thrown down as a token of challenge," c. 1300, from Old French gage "pledge (of battle), security, guarantee; pay, reward" (11c.), from Frankish *wadja-, from Proto-Germanic *wadi- (see wed). Italian gaggio, Spanish and Portuguese gage are French loan-words.
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hedge (v.)
late 14c., "make a hedge," also "surround with a barricade or palisade;" from hedge (n.). The intransitive sense of "dodge, evade, avoid committing oneself" is first recorded 1590s, on the notion of hiding as if in a hedge. That of "insure oneself against loss," as in a bet, by playing something on the other side is from 1670s, originally with in; probably from an earlier use of hedge in meaning "secure (a debt) by including it in a larger one which has better security" (1610s). Related: Hedged; hedging. The noun in the wagering sense is from 1736.
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preserve (v.)

late 14c., preserven, "keep safe or free from harm," also "act so as to insure that something does not occur," from Anglo-French preservare, Old French preserver, Medieval Latin preservare "keep, preserve," all from Late Latin praeservare "guard beforehand," from Latin prae "before" (see pre-) + servare "to keep safe" (from PIE root *ser- (1) "to protect").

From early 15c. as "maintain, keep in a certain quality, state or condition." Of fruit, etc., "prevent from spoiling by use of preservative substances," 1570s; of organic bodies, "keep in existence or alive," from 1610s. Related: Preserved; preserver; preserving.

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