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

That end-twist came after a scarier, more insular entry for the franchise (notably directed by The Orphanage filmmaker J.A. Bayona as opposed to Trevorrow) that had already seen Isla Nublar melt down during a volcanic eruption. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "How the ‘Battle at Big Rock’ Short Film Sets Up a Smarter, Scarier ‘Jurassic World 3’," 16 Sep. 2019 Jewish tourists from insular communities and locals from this small town in one of Western Europe’s most conservative societies have clashed at times in ways that occasionally have made news. Cnaan Liphshiz,, "In the Swiss Alps, locals and haredi Orthodox tourists find ways to get along," 2 July 2019 No matter the outcome, the court-martial at Naval Base San Diego has provided a rare view into the insular Navy SEAL community and likely will have a long-term impact on one of the military’s most secretive and revered forces. Julie Watson, The Denver Post, "Navy SEAL trial exposes divide in normally secretive force," 30 June 2019 Yet many people take advantage of these exemptions anyway, which can lead to outbreaks, especially in very insular communities. The Scientific American Staff, Scientific American, "The U.S. Needs To Tighten Vaccination Mandates," 24 June 2019 Several bills kicking around the Capitol this year are viewed in the insular community of workers’ compensation lobbyists as stalking horses for the larger conflict and hints to a potential new alliance. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, "Walters: A new California workers’ compensation battle looming," 18 June 2019 Now that dance music has arguably overtaken rock as a festival draw, Avicii sees its creative future not in growing more insular, but casting a wider net for ideas. August Brown,, "Avicii had a reason for good feelings when he dominated the dance tent at Coachella 2012," 20 Apr. 2012 But the championships are still a big deal, raising the city’s profile in the insular sailing world. Laura Johnston,, "J/70 North American sailing championships coming to Cleveland," 11 Sep. 2019 With the arrival of the 1990s, music has become more insular, with listeners plugged into their own devices. Tom Titus,, "On Theater: ‘The Beat’ goes pro at Vanguard," 19 June 2019

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

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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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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).


to fake an opponent out of position

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