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 fight against rules on every level of government that insulate officers and criminalize Black people are part of the war. Charles M. Blow New York Times, Star Tribune, "The battle of 38th Street is over," 24 Apr. 2021 Southwest’s largely domestic network has helped insulate it from the effects of closed borders and government travel restrictions that have hollowed out international traffic. Alison Sider, WSJ, "Southwest, American Say Leisure Travel Rebounding as Summer Season Approaches," 22 Apr. 2021 The area is surrounded by high cliffs that insulate the shore. Neal Leitereg, Forbes, "What $3.4 Million Buys In Real Estate In France, Mexico And Spain," 21 Apr. 2021 Kritsky said the snow would have covered the hole, which would have helped insulate them as temperatures dropped. Sarah Brookbank, The Enquirer, "Will the cold snap impact Brood X cicadas? Probably not," 21 Apr. 2021 The best coats for larger dogs are built from thick materials that will insulate your pet’s body while enduring a variety of potential spills and activities. Popular Science, "Best dog coats: Pet clothes to keep any dog warm," 17 Feb. 2021 Your clothes get wet and, with the exception of wool, lose their ability to insulate you and keep you warm. Matt Jancer, Wired, "How to Layer Clothes for Your Next Outdoor Adventure," 11 Apr. 2021 More:Did Trump keep his 19 promises to insulate himself from his business? David Jackson, USA TODAY, "Former president Donald Trump tumbles nearly 300 spots in Forbes billionaire rankings," 7 Apr. 2021 Aerogels, an ultra lightweight silica material, could also be used to insulate a metal tank and may serve to lighten the load. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "How NASA's Oxygen-Making Machine Could Change Mars Forever," 28 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for insulate

Time Traveler

The first known use of insulate was circa 1741

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Statistics for insulate

Last Updated

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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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