in·​su·​lar | \ ˈin(t)-su̇-lər How to pronounce insular (audio) , -syu̇-, ˈin-shə-lər \

Definition of insular

1 : characteristic of an isolated people especially : being, having, or reflecting a narrow provincial viewpoint
2a : of, relating to, or constituting an island
b : dwelling or situated on an island insular residents
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 How to pronounce insularism (audio) , -​syu̇-​ , ˈin-​shə-​lə-​ \ noun
insularity \ ˌin(t)-​su̇-​ˈler-​ə-​tē How to pronounce insularity (audio) , -​ˈla-​rə-​ -​syu̇-​ , ˌin-​shə-​ˈler-​ə-​ , -​ˈla-​rə-​ \ noun
insularly \ ˈin(t)-​su̇-​lər-​lē How to pronounce insularly (audio) , -​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 Isn’t that the way out of our insular tendencies — talking with each other, person to person, with respect? Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Election results, polarization, Minneapolis police, the Catholic Church," 12 Nov. 2020 Chinese President Xi Jinping tried to re-assure international businesses that the nation is committed to open trade, amid concerns that the new ‘dual circulation’ strategy will mean the world’s second-largest economy is set to become more insular., "Xi Seeks to Ease Concerns That China’s Economy Is Turning Inward," 4 Nov. 2020 Academic ambitions might be exorbitant, but the culture was insular and everyone knew it. David Bromwich, Harper's Magazine, "Is America Ungovernable?," 27 Oct. 2020 The country has grown only more insular under President Trump and under lockdown, so a clear sense of what’s happening in politics elsewhere can be hard to acquire, let alone retain. Wired Staff, Wired, "13 Books You Need to Read This Fall," 29 Sep. 2020 After all, she got laid off at EW amid the recession of the late 2000s, a change that led her to immerse herself fully in fiction, and into a more insular life: Her characters became her colleagues, her imagination her source. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "Gillian Flynn Is Obsessed With Conspiracies," 29 Sep. 2020 Wall Street, known for an insular culture that has historically been hostile to women and people of color, has for years promised to boost the diversity of its staff and leadership ranks. Washington Post, "Wells Fargo CEO apologizes after disparaging Black talent pool," 23 Sep. 2020 In this insular community, the pandemic poses problems large and small. Kendrick Brinson, National Geographic, "In America's oldest active retirement community, joy endures through the pandemic," 28 Oct. 2020 Her lifelong association with the insular Christian community People of Praise has also raised alarms. NBC News, "Gay couples race to wed over fears for future of same-sex marriage," 28 Oct. 2020

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 2a

History and Etymology for insular

Late Latin insularis, from Latin insula island

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Time Traveler for insular

Time Traveler

The first known use of insular was in 1611

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Statistics for insular

Last Updated

20 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Insular.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for insular


How to pronounce insular (audio)

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 How to pronounce insular (audio) \

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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