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

Other Words from insular

insularism \ ˈin(t)-​su̇-​lə-​ˌri-​zəm How to pronounce insular (audio) , -​syu̇-​ , ˈin-​shə-​lə-​ \ noun
insularity \ ˌin(t)-​su̇-​ˈler-​ə-​tē How to pronounce insular (audio) , -​ˈla-​rə-​ -​syu̇-​ , ˌin-​shə-​ˈler-​ə-​ , -​ˈla-​rə-​ \ noun
insularly \ ˈin(t)-​su̇-​lər-​lē How to pronounce insular (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 Their mandate was not to be insular, but to be a blessing for the entire world. Rabbi Avi Weiss,, 11 Oct. 2021 This is not to say that teams that have a microculture are insular. Kartik Mandaville, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 As befits a novel of middle-class suburban life, its crises are insular: a kid isn’t living up to his potential, a woman is unhappy about her weight, a teen-ager has a crush on someone else’s boyfriend. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, 27 Sep. 2021 Stories set in the Ivory Tower are often understood to be insular and low-stakes, with little to offer anyone who doesn’t possess a postgraduate degree. Judy Berman, Time, 19 Aug. 2021 If investors have insular networks then it’s self-reinforcing. Jessica Pliska, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021 But in certain insular communities, such as Hasidic Williamsburg, aspiring artists have to reckon with more social pressure in their shtetls, or enclaves. Avital Chizhik-goldschmidt, The Atlantic, 24 Sep. 2021 The striker emphasized the importance of employing and assigning more people to cover these cases to avoid insular decision-making by the league’s front office. Julia Poe,, 10 Oct. 2021 Which is not to say that Antalya is now an insular event. Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 2 Oct. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near insular



Insular Celtic

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Statistics for insular

Last Updated

9 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insular.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2021.

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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)

More from Merriam-Webster on insular

Nglish: Translation of insular for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of insular for Arabic Speakers


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