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 sitting president has been insulated by a party that often seems to care more about tribal loyalty than anything else. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "Why Isn't a Rape Allegation Worth an Impeachment Inquiry?," 22 Nov. 2019 This week’s historic tidewater levels in Venice were yet another reminder for residents of northwestern Europe, who have been largely insulated from climate-change effects, that their lives could be easily upended, too. Washington Post, "Venice is underwater. Other major European cities could be next.," 14 Nov. 2019 That's because the act of taking 18650s in and out of vaping devices or chargers can damage the cell's insulating wrapper, compromising the safety of the battery, Kerchner said. Erika Edwards, NBC News, "The battery behind dangerous and deadly e-cigarette explosions," 24 July 2019 Permafrost at the experimental sites was around a degree Celsius warmer than nearby sites that hadn’t been insulated. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "Small Temperature Bumps Can Cause Big Arctic Methane Burps," 10 July 2019 The North Face's Tekno Ridge hoodie is a combination of both a fuzzy, insulating fleece and a wind-repelling rain jacket. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "Need Outdoors Gear? 13 Deals From the REI 4th of July Sale," 3 July 2019 One of the best parts is that the bottles inside the home have an insulating effect, and the average temperature inside of a house in the Plastic Bottle Village are 35°F cooler than outside! Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "The Homes in This Village Are Made Using Old Plastic Bottles," 28 May 2019 Its line of barely there, affordable basics made from bio-warming and insulating fabric have been keeping shoppers warm since 2003. Ana Colón, Glamour, "Alexander Wang Designed a Line for Uniqlo's Heattech, and Everything Is Under $50," 24 Oct. 2018 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

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 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Insulate.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 5 December 2019.

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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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