in·​su·​late | \ ˈin(t)-sə-ˌlāt How to pronounce insulate (audio) \
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

The European Union is trying to set up a special-purpose vehicle that would insulate its companies—such as oil refiners—from U.S. sanctions on Iran and create a safe avenue for financial transactions with the country. Benoit Faucon, WSJ, "China Offers Iran $3 Billion Oil-Field Deal as Europe Halts Iranian Crude Purchases," 17 Jan. 2019 Cargo Camper insulates both the trailer walls and the ceiling, then installs all of the electrical wiring, vents, and windows. Megan Barber, Curbed, "No-frills travel trailer camps 2 for $7K," 14 Sep. 2018 The political architecture of Britain insulates those imposing austerity from the wrath of those on the receiving end. Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, "In Britain, Austerity Is Changing Everything," 28 May 2018 Kirnon insulates her cooks from that uncertainty with help from an unexpected ally: gluten-free flour. Ali Bouzari, San Francisco Chronicle, "Housemade: The science behind the skillets at Miss Ollie’s in Oakland," 16 May 2018 That has insulated Ulta somewhat from the Amazon effect. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "Ulta Has Cracked Beauty’s Secret," 21 Dec. 2018 The inner components are insulated by felted wool and leather, while the driver’s cones are made from local wood. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Hand-thrown clay speakers marry craftsmanship and sustainability," 29 Aug. 2018 That family control has long insulated the company from takeover bids. Harold Brubaker,, "Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison retires abruptly as growth plans falter," 18 May 2018 That’s why universities are often insulated from the outside world. WSJ, "Dissecting the College Scandal," 12 Feb. 2019

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

8 Apr 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 How to pronounce insulate (audio) \
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

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