in·​su·​late | \ ˈin(t)-sə-ˌlāt \
insulated; insulating

Definition of insulate

transitive verb

: to place in a detached situation : isolate especially : to separate from conducting bodies by means of nonconductors so as to prevent transfer of electricity, heat, or sound

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Examples of insulate in a Sentence

They used a special type of fiberglass to insulate the attic. a material that is able to insulate against cold The company has tried to insulate itself from the region's political turmoil. I wish I could insulate my children from painful experiences.
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Recent Examples on the Web

We were insulated from the reaction and could always hustle through to the end and get off stage to the crushing sound of no-laughter. Eva Holland, Longreads, "The Writers’ Roundtable: Fiction vs. Nonfiction," 2 Apr. 2018 As the outside world zooms by, you, with your headphones on, are insulated in a world of your own., "These Podcast Episodes Are Must-Listens For Women's History Month," 27 Mar. 2018 Not only will the Loft buildings be readily convertible to different uses, but they will also be insulated with mycelium! Molly Sauter, The Atlantic, "Google’s Guinea-Pig City," 13 Feb. 2018 Still, look for SoftBank to try and build a broader base of backers in any future Vision Fund — which would help insulate the investor against upheavel in any one part of the world. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "The Saudi Arabian government is ready to commit another $45 billion to SoftBank’s Vision Fund," 5 Oct. 2018 To insulate the ruble and the economy from oil’s ups and downs and cap spending, the government is absorbing all revenue earned when Russia’s Urals export blend is above $40 a barrel, channeling the excess income into its sovereign wealth fund. Anna Andrianova,, "Debt Paradox Means Russia Borrows More Despite Rally in Oil," 20 May 2018 Friends also said that the couple tried to keep their children insulated from death threats and hateful emails prompted by Devonte’s viral picture. Kristine Phillips, Kevin Sullivan And Marwa Eltagouri, sacbee, "Speedometer ‘pinned’ at 90 mph as SUV carrying family plunged off a cliff, report says | The Sacramento Bee," 1 Apr. 2018 Use plush area rugs to insulate your floors and keep your feet warm. Leah Napoliello, Houston Chronicle, "BBB on homes: Keep your home warm without breaking the bank," 19 Jan. 2018 Thin or well-muscled dogs like greyhounds, Weimaraners, pit bull and bull terriers often don’t have much body fat to insulate their muscles and other tissues. Karen Asp, Good Housekeeping, "6 Ways To Protect Your Dog From Common (But Potentially Deadly) Winter Dangers," 29 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'insulate.' 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 insulate

circa 1741, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for insulate

Latin insula

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Statistics for insulate

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for insulate

The first known use of insulate was circa 1741

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More Definitions for insulate



English Language Learners Definition of insulate

: to add a material or substance to (something) in order to stop heat, electricity, or sound from going into or out of it

: to prevent (someone or something) from dealing with or experiencing something : to keep (someone or something) separate from something unpleasant, dangerous, etc.


in·​su·​late | \ ˈin-sə-ˌlāt \
insulated; insulating

Kids Definition of insulate

1 : to separate from others : isolate At home he insulates himself from the city.
2 : to separate a conductor of electricity, heat, or sound from other conductors by means of something that does not allow the passage of electricity, heat, or sound insulated electrical wire

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More from Merriam-Webster on insulate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with insulate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insulate

Spanish Central: Translation of insulate

Nglish: Translation of insulate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of insulate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on insulate

What made you want to look up insulate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to settle judicially or to act as judge

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