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

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

After striking a pose, Jenner took a dip in the stunning sea and stopped for a photo with her friends with the gorgeous backdrop of the Greek isles in the background. Kaitlyn Frey,, "From Neon Bikinis to Micro-Minis! Inside Kendall Jenner's Mykonos Vacation Style," 11 July 2019 The picturesque Greek isle has long been the go-to spot for baes, honeymooners and everything in between. Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "Greek Romance! These Couples Filled The Streets Of Santorini With Beautiful Black Love," 10 July 2019 This small isle along the Columbia River, most of which is part of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, offers pristine woodlands that have been largely untouched by humans for decades., "D.B. Cooper search leads to Bachelor Island; ex-FBI agent says suspect will get away with it ‘unless he confesses’," 27 June 2019 Climb the forested hills of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, hike the coasts of the isle of Kerrera, and travel into the Cuillin mountain range for a hike among its jagged peaks. National Geographic, "Scotland Hiking Adventure: From the Highlands to Islands," 17 June 2019 Just one look at travel IG feeds like Soul Society and you’ll be inspired by all the melanin magic doing it up in Athens and on the Greek isles. Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "5 Greek Islands You Need To Visit That Are Not Mykonos and Santorini," 18 June 2019 Explore two islands, two national parks, and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Edinburgh on a variety of hikes and walks. Discover Highland culture in remote villages, and tour a local whisky distillery on the isle of Kerrera. National Geographic, "Scotland Hiking Adventure: From the Highlands to Islands," 17 June 2019 Anguilla Test-driving luxury is delightfully affordable during the summer on the British isle across the sea from St. Maarten. Melanie Reffes, USA TODAY, "Summer on sale in the Caribbean: Stay at luxurious resorts at a huge discount," 11 June 2019 The windswept Shetlands lie less than 400 miles from the Arctic Circle, and their outermost isle, an uninhabited rocky outcrop called Out Stack, is the northernmost point of Britain. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "U.K. Maps Now Required to Give the Shetland Archipelago Some Respect," 15 Oct. 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

22 Jul 2019

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 How to pronounce isle (audio) \

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

Comments on isle

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something desired as essential

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