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

And a closer study of his online activity reveals the evolution of a political identity built on a foundation of false news and misinformation, and steeped in the insular culture of the right-wing media. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Why social media is friend to far-right politicians around the world," 30 Oct. 2018 Sardinia contains many worlds: the glitzy Costa Smeralda; the Catalonian retreat of Alghero; the wild mountain coastlines both east and west; practical, insular Barbagia; the rice fields of diligent Oristano. Kyre Chenven, Condé Nast Traveler, "For Sardinia’s Wild Side, Head to Sulcis," 12 Oct. 2018 Carter repeated his frustrations with the last Democratic president, Barack Obama, for not engaging more directly with the insular Asian nation. Bill Barrow, The Seattle Times, "Jimmy Carter cautions Democrats not to scare off moderates," 11 Sep. 2018 Some biologists have suggested that insular dwarfism is an adaptation to limited food resources or smaller prey animals. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "The modern pygmies of Flores are not related to Homo floresiensis," 2 Aug. 2018 For generations, Solo was a family business, a relatively insular culture. Christopher Borrelli,, "That red plastic cup is a Chicago original. Proceed to party.," 29 June 2018 Instead, the bureau’s search process reveals how insular this town can be, how the white male insider dominates, and how our leaders still pay lip service to diversity. Shirley Leung,, "Botched search for Boston tourism honcho should be restarted," 10 Apr. 2018 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

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

17 Nov 2018

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 \

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

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to enclose within walls

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