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 Ultra-Orthodox leaders have used their considerable political leverage to help maintain the community’s insular lifestyle with government grants, feeding secular complaints that the haredim are a burden to the collective. Time, "After Ignoring Warnings, Israeli Ultra-Orthodox Communities Hit by Coronavirus," 3 Apr. 2020 That raises the possibility of a pandemic overwhelming an insular space, putting everyone — guards, health staff and other inmates — at risk. Otis R. Taylor Jr.,, "Coronavirus outbreak behind bars: Advocates fear inmates will hide symptoms," 23 Mar. 2020 Swedish Enterprise Minister Ibrahim Baylan has warned against countries becoming more insular and detached from the world. NBC News, "Coronavirus: Ventilator rush faces regulatory and logistical obstacles," 17 Mar. 2020 Sun Bears are reclusive and live an insular life in the dense lowland forests of Southeast Asia. Fox News, "10 different kinds of bear: Everything you need to know about the huge mammals," 10 Mar. 2020 The civic norm of universal service has given way to an isolated, and insular, all-volunteer force. Dwight Stirling, The Conversation, "Trump treats the military as his own – and the troops could suffer," 2 Mar. 2020 Some in the insular ultraorthodox community said members weren’t defying public orders, but rather learning belatedly how much of a threat the virus poses. Dov Lieber, WSJ, "Israel Fights Coronavirus Spread Among Ultra-Orthodox Jews," 30 Mar. 2020 An insular community, the church frowned on relationships with outsiders, Guerra said. Washington Post, "Ex-La Luz del Mundo members find community on Reddit," 6 Mar. 2020 As was common to music writing at the beginning of the blog era, social context often took a backseat to erudite illumination of musical points of reference and connectivity; insular is one word to describe it. Ross Scarano, Billboard, "What's the Place of Morality in Music Criticism?," 6 May 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 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

4 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Insular.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 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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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

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