\ˈī(-ə)l \

Definition of isle 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: island especially : islet sense 1


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

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Synonyms for isle

Synonyms: Noun

island, islet

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Examples of isle in a Sentence


the Australian seas are rife with uninhabited isles

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Like The Wicker Man, Apostle begins with a man getting a letter drawing him to a remote religious community in the British isles, where he’s been asked to save a life. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Netflix’s Apostle takes The Wicker Man to a radical new level," 12 Oct. 2018 Police said Sunday the suspect was on top of a man lying unconscious on the floor of the isle with a knife stuck in his thigh when officers arrived. Fox News, "Knife attack on Japan bullet train leaves 1 dead, 2 hurt," 9 June 2018 Thailand may be famous for its tropical isles and aquamarine seas, but select rivers and canals in the country’s core offer opportunities for some astonishing adventures as well. New York Times, "Taking to the River in Thailand," 10 Apr. 2018 And the game’s ultimate heroes were the French defending duo of Samuel Umtiti, born in the Cameroonian capital Yaounde, and Raphaël Varane, whose father hails from the Caribbean isle of Martinique. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "The World Cup is a victory for the immigrant dream," 12 July 2018 The three-square-mile isle, located an hour’s drive from Sarasota and over a causeway, is as laid-back as Florida gets. The Editors, Outside Online, "North America's 16 Best, Most Overlooked Beaches," 1 June 2018 Already at least 40 people, including Yemenis, Indians and Sudanese, were reported missing on Socotra, where flash floods washed away animals and cut power lines on the isle in the Arabian Sea. Fox News, "Cyclone Mekunu raises fears as it nears Arabian Peninsula, at least 40 already reported missing," 25 May 2018 Plans also call for visiting Macquarie Island, a tiny sub-Antarctic isle that is home to millions of penguins, including king, rockhopper, gentoo and royal. Phil Marty,, "Holiday paddlewheeler cruises, the best ice cream shops and more," 23 May 2018 Different footprints had been found three years earlier, ones that date back 170 million years and survived as evidence of giant sauropods–likely ancestors of the later brontosaurus–that would wander through the isle's lagoons. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Dozens of Pristine Dino Footprints Found on Island in Scotland," 3 Apr. 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for isle

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for isle

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

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More Definitions for isle


\ˈīl \

Kids Definition of isle

: a usually small island

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More from Merriam-Webster on isle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with isle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for isle

Spanish Central: Translation of isle

Nglish: Translation of isle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of isle for Arabic Speakers

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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