isolate

verb
iso·late | \ ˈī-sə-ˌlāt also ˈi- \
isolated; isolating

Definition of isolate 

(Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to set apart from others also : quarantine

2 : to select from among others especially : to separate from another substance so as to obtain pure or in a free state

3 : insulate

isolate

adjective
iso·late | \ ˈī-sə-lət , -ˌlāt also ˈi- \

Definition of isolate (Entry 2 of 3)

: being alone : solitary, isolated

isolate

noun
iso·late | \ ˈī-sə-lət , -ˌlāt also ˈi- \

Definition of isolate (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : an individual, population, strain, or culture obtained by or resulting from selection or separation

2 : an individual socially withdrawn or removed from society

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Other words from isolate

Verb

isolator \ˈī-sə-ˌlā-tər alsoˈi- \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for isolate

Synonyms: Verb

cut off, insulate, seclude, segregate, separate, sequester

Antonyms: Verb

desegregate, integrate, reintegrate

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Examples of isolate in a Sentence

Verb

These policies will only serve to isolate the country politically and economically. Certain patients must be isolated in a separate ward. When he wants to work, he isolates himself in his office and won't talk to anyone. Scientists have isolated the gene that causes the disease.

Noun

interpersonal relationships are very stressful for him, so he lives as a virtual isolate on the Upper West Side of Manhattan
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Lazzaro lives in Inviolata, a tiny hamlet that feels completely isolated in the hills (though Rome isn’t all that far away). Boyd Van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Happy as Lazzaro' ('Lazzaro Felice'): Film Review | Cannes 2018," 13 May 2018 As a result, Pruitt — who kept career employees at a distance — was largely isolated in his final weeks. chicagotribune.com, "Days after Pruitt resigned, several top aides are also calling it quits at EPA," 11 July 2018 But the case of Cixi — who was isolated, undereducated and never made a break for personal freedom — is a hard argument to make. New York Times, "Was This Powerful Chinese Empress a Feminist Trailblazer?," 10 July 2018 Fire activity will be isolated to the northern and western flanks due to heavy timber and elevation, Cal Fire said in a news update. Julia Sclafani, sacbee, "Northern California wildfire update, map: Klamathon Fire destroys 81 structures," 9 July 2018 Employees were in the area, which does not connect to the hospital, during the incident and were isolated. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump’s mockery of the #MeToo movement underscores the GOP’s problem with women in 2018," 6 July 2018 The ptxD gene that allows absorption of phosphite was first isolated by William Metcalf of the University of Illinois. Lynn Brezosky, San Antonio Express-News, "A&M cotton research could open new front in war on weeds," 5 July 2018 To the Trump administration, Sinovel’s predatory practices are hardly isolated. Paul Wiseman, The Seattle Times, "Why they fight: US and China brawl over high technology," 3 July 2018 Werewool, from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, is a faux wool fiber that students created by isolating and expressing a protein from their own DNA—no animals (except humans) needed. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "What Will It Take To Make Vegan Wool?," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Salience is a fancy way of saying relevance; this network is important for helping a brain isolate and focus on only relevant stimuli from an environment filled with noise. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Inflammation is bad, including for those in the womb," 12 Apr. 2018 Of those isolates, about 25 percent produced carbapenem-thwarting enzymes called carbapenemases. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "“Nightmare” superbugs continue to lurk in US, but control efforts working," 4 Apr. 2018 Surround yourself with the people who love you instead of giving in to the urge to self-isolate. Gigi Engle, Marie Claire, "How to Get Over a Breakup Without Falling into a Dark Pit of Despair," 1 Nov. 2017 The Japanese astronaut’s wife is an isolate searching for an identity that feels authentic while training a robot to act as a household companion. Laura Miller, Slate Magazine, "Dark Futures," 25 May 2017 An experiential display deconstructs the scent of rose—a complex bundle of aromachemicals—into its key isolates. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "A New Berkeley Museum Explores the Secret World of Natural Perfume," 11 July 2017 A few ingredients to steer clear of: artificial colors, aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, palm kernel oil, and soy protein isolate. Kate Dwyer, Bon Appetit, "5 Protein Bars That Are Healthy and Taste Good," 20 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'isolate.' 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 isolate

Verb

1799, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1819, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1890, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for isolate

Verb

back-formation from isolated set apart, from French isolé, from Italian isolato, from isola island, from Latin insula

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Statistics for isolate

Last Updated

28 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for isolate

The first known use of isolate was in 1799

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More Definitions for isolate

isolate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of isolate

: to put or keep (someone or something) in a place or situation that is separate from others

: to find and deal with (something, such as a problem) by removing other possibilities

: to separate (something, such as a chemical) from another substance : to get (something) or an amount of (something) that is not mixed with or attached to anything else

isolate

verb
iso·late | \ ˈī-sə-ˌlāt \
isolated; isolating

Kids Definition of isolate

: to place or keep apart from others Isolate any diseased plants.

isolate

transitive verb
iso·late | \ ˈī-sə-ˌlāt \
isolated; isolating

Medical Definition of isolate 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: to set apart from others: as

a : to separate (one with a contagious disease) from others not similarly infected

b : to separate (as a chemical compound) from all other substances : obtain pure or in a free state

isolate

noun
iso·late | \ ˈī-sə-lət , -ˌlāt \

Medical Definition of isolate (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an individual (as a spore or single organism), a viable part of an organism (as a cell), or a strain that has been isolated (as from diseased tissue, contaminated water, or the air) also : a pure culture produced from such an isolate

2 : a relatively homogeneous population separated from related populations by geographic, biologic, or social factors or by human intervention

3 : a socially withdrawn individual

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Comments on isolate

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