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 Electoral College insulated the presidency from direct exposure to mass national democracy. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Impeachment and the Broken Truce," 14 Nov. 2019 Some low-wage occupations like home health care, hairstyling, or fitness training are insulated from the impact of AI because those skills are hard to automate. Wired, "AI May Not Kill Your Job—Just Change It," 31 Oct. 2019 Inside the foyer, the signs are numerous: hardwood flooring refinished in a dark walnut stain, windows that look original but are new and insulated, fresh paint, and recessed lighting. John Ellement, Real Estate, "Home of the Week: The Marshall Act was passed the year this house was built. It doesn’t look it.," 31 Oct. 2019 Modern insulating building materials soften the noise from the fire station. Hillary Davis, Daily Pilot, "Newport’s CdM library begins new chapter," 17 Sep. 2019 While the state policy largely insulates California from the federal rollback, the state could still see a drop in water quality in watersheds that cross state lines. Kurtis Alexander,, "California protects itself from Trump’s rollback of Clean Water Act," 12 Sep. 2019 One option that has not been explored is how public banking might insulate the fund from financial instability. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: PERA retirees need security now; Winning strategy for Dems; Pass the buck, Hick (7/11/19)," 11 July 2019 Douek says the group’s charter , also released Tuesday, should insulate board members from public pressure and Facebook’s commercial imperatives. Washington Post, "Facebook to name first oversight panel members by year-end," 17 Sep. 2019 The by-products of land-use decisions have spread throughout the Bay Area, as traffic chokes freeways, greenhouse gas emissions increase and homeless encampments pop up in areas once insulated from in-your-face poverty. Rachel Swan,, "Measure clears way for tax hikes on ballot to address Bay Area housing crisis," 14 Sep. 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

18 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for insulate

The first known use of insulate was circa 1741

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More Definitions for insulate


How to pronounce insulate (audio)

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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Comments on insulate

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to speed up the process or progress of

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