\ 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

This year, the Sun reports that Prince George will fête his sixth birthday with the rest of the Cambridge family during their vacation on Mustique, an isle in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince George Will Reportedly Celebrate His 6th Birthday on Mustique, an Exclusive Caribbean Island," 19 July 2019 On one isle, those levels are reported to be 1,000 times higher. Susanne Rust, Los Angeles Times, "Radiation in parts of the Marshall Islands is far higher than Chernobyl, study says," 15 July 2019 Stopping at seven Greek isles after embarking from Athens, the ship ends its 10-day route in Istanbul. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "The 2020 Cruise Itineraries We're Most Excited About," 1 July 2019 The Perfect Greek Island Itinerary The Greek isles can be confusing— just ask Odysseus. Adam Gopnik, Town & Country, "My First Visit to the Greek Islands Turned Out to Be a Journey Home," 20 May 2019 Chen Qiufan, translation by Ken Liu A book about a woman’s struggle in China’s silicon isle, where people couldn’t escape a heavily polluted place. Amanda Shendruk, Quartzy, "Here’s what every Chinese book recently translated for the US is about," 27 July 2019 Go ashore on Heimaey, the only inhabited isle in the archipelago, and wander among the white wooden buildings of the single tiny town. National Geographic, "Iceland Family Journey: Geysers, Glaciers, and Fjords," 17 June 2019 Portugal's wild Azores isles are geothermal wonders — and relatively close to the U.S. » Don't want to eat like a tourist? Linda Lombardi,, "3 epic aquatic adventures across the U.S., including indoor swimming with whale sharks," 11 June 2019 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

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

2 Sep 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

What made you want to look up isle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread over or through

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