[ en-skons ]
/ ɛnˈskɒns /

verb (used with object), en·sconced, en·sconc·ing.

to settle securely or snugly: I found her in the library, ensconced in an armchair.
to cover or shelter; hide securely: He ensconced himself in the closet in order to eavesdrop.

Nearby words

  1. ens.,
  2. ensa,
  3. ensample,
  4. ensanguine,
  5. enschede,
  6. ensconced,
  7. enscroll,
  8. ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem,
  9. ensemble,
  10. ensemble acting

Origin of ensconce

First recorded in 1580–90; en-1 + sconce2

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ensconce

British Dictionary definitions for ensconce


/ (ɪnˈskɒns) /

verb (tr; often passive)

to establish or settle firmly or comfortablyensconced in a chair
to place in safety; hide

Word Origin for ensconce

C16: see en- 1, sconce ²

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ensconce



1580s, "to cover with a fort," from en- (1) "make, put in" + sconce "small fortification, shelter," perhaps via French, probably from Dutch schans "earthwork" (cf. Middle High German schanze "bundle of sticks"), of uncertain origin. Related: Ensconced.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper