\ ˈī(-ə)l How to pronounce isle (audio) \
plural isles

Definition of isle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: island Pacific isles Steering with due course toward the isle of Rhodes …— William Shakespeare especially : a small island : islet I once lived on the … island of Antiparos, a tiny isle behind Paros. — Emily Prager Islay is a small Hebridean isle, some 25 miles in length, with a population of less than 4,000, yet it boasts eight of the oldest and most famous distilleries in Scotland. — Henry Shukman


isled; isling

Definition of isle (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make an isle of
2 : to place on or as if on an isle

Synonyms for isle

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of isle in a Sentence

Noun the Australian seas are rife with uninhabited isles
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That preoccupation with water has now become critical as severe drought grips California and its Channel Islands — a rugged, eight-isle archipelago that hosts several human outposts and a handful of species that exist nowhere else on Earth. Los Angeles Times, 5 Aug. 2022 Below, Missoni’s travel tips for the under-the-radar Greek isle. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 4 Aug. 2022 Loyola Marymount University’s summer-long Shakespeare on the Bluff festival continues with the Bard’s fantastical fable about a deposed duke and his young daughter stranded on a magical isle. Los Angeles Times, 21 July 2022 The three-week race has two more stages in Denmark this weekend, including crossing the Great Belt Bridge that links the Zealand island, where Copenhagen sits and the central isle of Funen. Mark Heim |, al, 1 July 2022 But today the sceptered isle is more septic island. Sam Kiley, CNN, 30 June 2022 Below are nine new properties across Europe, from the isle of Capri to Vienna. Laura Neilson, WSJ, 21 June 2022 The real-life correlate of Circe's isle is a singular place, with a beauty that is still almost completely sylvan. Maria Shollenbarger, Travel + Leisure, 20 June 2022 As a long answer to a short question, there are indeed many very cool sounds and ideas that are new to the isle that players will explore in The Delicious Last Course. Josh Chesler, SPIN, 15 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of isle


13th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1576, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for isle


Middle English, from Anglo-French ile, isle, from Latin insula

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Time Traveler for isle

Time Traveler

The first known use of isle was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near isle



Isle au Haut

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Statistics for isle

Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Isle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for isle


\ ˈīl How to pronounce isle (audio) \

Kids Definition of isle

: a usually small island

More from Merriam-Webster on isle

Nglish: Translation of isle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of isle for Arabic Speakers


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