1

island

noun, often attributive is·land \ ˈī-lənd \
Updated on: 9 Dec 2017

Definition of island

1 : a tract of land surrounded by water and smaller than a continent
2 : something resembling an island especially in its isolated or surrounded position: such as
a : a usually raised area within a thoroughfare, parking lot, or driveway used especially to separate or direct traffic
b : a superstructure on the deck of a ship (such as an aircraft carrier)
c : a kitchen counter that is approachable from all sides
3 : an isolated group or area; especially : an isolated ethnological group

Examples of island in a Sentence

  1. He lives on an island in the Caribbean.

  2. the island of Hawaii is the largest in the Hawaiian archipelago

Recent Examples of island from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'island.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

The words island and isle are etymologically distinct. Island can be traced back to Old English īgland, composed of two elements īg and land. Land, as we might expect means “land,” but īg means “island” in Old English. In a sense, then, īgland is “island-land.” The English isle, on the other hand, is derived through medieval French from the Latin insula. In the 16th century, under the influence of isle, the letter s was added to iland, the earlier form of island. The verb island did not appear until the 17th century.

Origin and Etymology of island

alteration (influenced by Anglo-French isle) of earlier iland, from Middle English, from Old English īgland (akin to Old Norse eyland), from īg island (akin to Old English ēa river, Latin aqua water) + land land

island Synonyms

Synonyms
isle, islet
Related Words
atoll, barrier reef, cay, coral reef, key
Near Antonyms
continent, main, mainland

2

island

verb

Definition of island

transitive verb
1 a : to make into or as if into an island
b : to dot with or as if with islands
2 : isolate

Recent Examples of island from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'island.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of island

1661



ISLAND Defined for Kids

island

noun is·land \ ˈī-lənd \

Definition of island for Students

1 : an area of land surrounded by water and smaller than a continent
2 : something like an island in its isolation
  • We have a counter island in our kitchen.

Medical Dictionary

island

noun is·land \ ˈī-lənd \

medical Definition of island

: an isolated anatomical structure, tissue, or group of cells


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