in·su·lar | \ˈin(t)-su̇-lər, -syu̇-, ˈin-shə-lər\

Definition of insular 

1a : of, relating to, or constituting an island

b : dwelling or situated on an island insular residents

2 : characteristic of an isolated people especially : being, having, or reflecting a narrow provincial viewpoint

3 : of or relating to an island of cells or tissue

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Other Words from insular

insularism \ˈin(t)-su̇-lə-ˌri-zəm, -syu̇-, ˈin-shə-lə- \ noun
insularity \ˌin(t)-su̇-ˈler-ə-tē, -ˈla-rə- -syu̇-, ˌin-shə-ˈler-ə-, -ˈla-rə- \ noun
insularly \ˈin(t)-su̇-lər-lē, -syu̇-, ˈin-shə- \ adverb

Examples of insular in a Sentence

the insular world of boarding schools an insular community that is not receptive of new ideas, especially from outsiders

Recent Examples on the Web

Wary of the neighboring properties, the street-facing side of the home features few windows along its walls, while the more insular side allows light to flood the house and opens up for forest views. Alex Bazeley, Curbed, "Cool concrete summer home sits among a sea of trees," 3 July 2018 When Margaret Thatcher became prime minister in 1979, the City of London was a relatively insular, bowler-hatted affair., "China Quietly Rolled Out a Very Big Bang," 19 Apr. 2018 First Suburb by Chana Porter *World Premiere* November 16 – December 19, 2018 Five preteens teeter on the brink of adolescence when a shocking and violent act interrupts their insularworld of personal struggles and triumphs. Wei-huan Chen, Houston Chronicle, "Catastrophic Theatre's 2018-19 season features Will Eno and Robert O'Hara," 27 June 2018 Their relationship played out in the insular world of Washington, where young, ambitious journalists compete for scoops while navigating relationships with powerful, often older, sources. Emily Flitter, New York Times, "How an Affair Between a Reporter and a Security Aide Has Rattled Washington Media," 24 June 2018 Part of the reason is Japan’s insular culture and low level of English. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Japan Wants Guest Workers," 20 June 2018 This reflects how circus, in the beginning, was an insular pursuit that a small circle of friends would practice in our backyards, teaching each other partner acrobatics, or acro yoga., "Her circus business embraces the unconventional," 14 July 2018 Englishness, by contrast, is increasingly regarded as insular and atavistic. The Economist, "English or British? Football highlights an enduring identity crisis," 12 July 2018 But the insular nature of Blomkamp’s films may be part of the problem in terms of their reception. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Why 'Robocop' and Neill Blomkamp Need Each Other," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'insular.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of insular

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for insular

Late Latin insularis, from Latin insula island

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Statistics for insular

Last Updated

25 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for insular

The first known use of insular was in 1611

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More Definitions for insular



English Language Learners Definition of insular

: separated from other people or cultures : not knowing or interested in new or different ideas


in·su·lar | \-lər \

Medical Definition of insular 

: of or relating to an island of cells or tissue (as the islets of Langerhans or the insula)

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More from Merriam-Webster on insular

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insular

Spanish Central: Translation of insular

Nglish: Translation of insular for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of insular for Arabic Speakers

Comments on insular

What made you want to look up insular? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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