isolate

verb
iso·​late | \ ˈī-sə-ˌlāt also ˈi- How to pronounce isolate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce isolate (audio) , -ˌlāt also ˈi-\

Definition of isolate (Entry 2 of 3)

: being alone : solitary, isolated

isolate

noun
iso·​late | \ ˈī-sə-lət How to pronounce isolate (audio) , -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2 : an individual socially withdrawn or removed from society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 How to pronounce isolator (audio) also  ˈi-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for isolate

Synonyms: Verb

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

Synonyms: Noun

anchorite, eremite, hermit, recluse, solitary

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

Years of emotional and physical abuse followed, inflicted by a husband who isolated her. Angela Haupt, The Seattle Times, "The 10 books to read in 2019 based on what you loved in 2018," 7 Jan. 2019 The agency had been set up to isolate it from White House or congressional pressure. Jessica Spitz /, NBC News, "How Kavanaugh ruled on gun control, health care, and other hot-button issues," 10 July 2018 News channels such as TTV had taken upon themselves to out and isolate them. Ankita Chakraborty, Longreads, "A Crocodile In Paris: The Queer Classics of Qiu Miaojin," 8 June 2018 Fieldwork is often isolated, dangerous, and exposed. Sarah Scoles, Outside Online, "The Harassment Problem in Scientific Dream Jobs," 21 May 2018 Using a computer program called TrueAllele, the DNA collected from the sweater found and isolated five separate DNA profiles. Matt Mccall, Post-Tribune, "Two men exonerated by DNA evidence for rape convictions sue Hammond, Indiana State Police," 19 Apr. 2018 But whales roam the entire ocean where there are no geographic barriers that would isolate them. Author: Karen Weintraub, Anchorage Daily News, "Baleen whales intermingled as they evolved, and share DNA with distant cousins," 7 Apr. 2018 My goals from there were clear: lock him in a tight embrace, trick him into falling, get myself into a dominant position over him, and isolate an arm for leverage to end the match. Zachary Lewis, cleveland.com, "Jiu-jitsu training experiment begins with inspiring introduction and skill session: Stretching Out," 27 Mar. 2018 By tracking currents, the team was able to isolate the source of warming in specific oceans. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "The Oceans Have Absorbed an Unfathomable Amount of Energy Due to Climate Change," 11 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The hurricane could also produce heavy and excessive rainfall – up to 40 inches in isolates areas in the Carolinas and anywhere between six to 12 inches elsewhere in the Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic region. Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Fox News, "Hurricane Florence, 'storm of a lifetime,' generating 83-feet high waves as it barrels towards Carolina coast," 12 Sep. 2018 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

13 Mar 2019

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
technical : 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 How to pronounce isolate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce isolate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce isolate (audio) , -ˌlāt How to pronounce isolate (audio) \

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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