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plural isles
: 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


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isled; isling

transitive verb

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

Examples of isle in a Sentence

Noun the Australian seas are rife with uninhabited isles
Recent Examples on the Web
The isle is overseen by India, which has a policy of not prosecuting islanders for killing interlopers. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 24 Oct. 2023 On Sand Hook isle., Alameda, in August 2023, a 1,485-square-foot home was sold for $1,505,000, a price per square foot of $1,013. Bay Area Home Report, The Mercury News, 5 Feb. 2024 Bubble Skincare Water Slide Serum Another new formula straight out of the drugstore isles, Bubble's Water Slide serum couldn't be more aptly named. Wendy Vazquez, Southern Living, 4 Feb. 2024 The eatery on the style isle is expected to open next winter at The Royal Poinciana Plaza and is owned by Gabby and Gianpaolo de Felice, the wife-and-husband dining duo behind Tutto il Giorno in Southampton, East Hampton and Sag Harbor, New York. Rod Stafford Hagwood, Sun Sentinel, 16 Jan. 2024 The old walled community once thrived trading squirrel skins and beeswax, and to this day small fishing vessels make regular runs between the isle and the mainland, a distance of about 56 miles. Julia Zaltzman, Robb Report, 18 Feb. 2024 If your version of romance is hiking through monkey forests and rolling rice paddies — or dancing to DJ sets and light shows until the wee hours of the morning — head to Bali, a beautiful Indonesian isle known for its vibrant nightlife scene. Claudia Fisher, Travel + Leisure, 2 Mar. 2024 Largely a residential isle, Holden Beach is all about simple pleasures, from biking and kayaking along with playing on the beach during the day, to ghost crabbing at night. Tracey Minkin, Southern Living, 1 Mar. 2024 Cruise ship Le Bellot will sail along the southern slopes of Iberia to the isles of the eastern Atlantic, showcasing the ochre cliffs of Portugal’s Algarve Coast, the lush valleys of Madeira, and the volcanic craters of the Canary Islands. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 26 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'isle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1576, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near isle

Cite this Entry

“Isle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: island sense 1
especially : islet


from early French isle "isle, island," from Latin insula "island" — related to insulate, isolate, peninsula

More from Merriam-Webster on isle

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