isolate

1 of 3

verb

iso·​late ˈī-sə-ˌlāt How to pronounce isolate (audio)
 also  ˈi-
isolated; isolating

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
isolator
ˈī-sə-ˌlā-tər How to pronounce isolate (audio)
 also  ˈi-
noun

isolate

2 of 3

adjective

iso·​late ˈī-sə-lət How to pronounce isolate (audio) -ˌlāt How to pronounce isolate (audio)
 also  ˈi-
: being alone : solitary, isolated

isolate

3 of 3

noun

iso·​late ˈī-sə-lət How to pronounce isolate (audio) -ˌlāt How to pronounce isolate (audio)
 also  ˈi-
1
: an individual, population, strain, or culture obtained by or resulting from selection or separation
2
: an individual socially withdrawn or removed from society

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
One outcome has been to isolate Washington and undermine its claim of defending international norms and the liberal international order. Marc Lynch, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 The scammer will also use fear to isolate you and prevent you from reaching out to other people who could help. Heather Kelly, Washington Post, 17 Feb. 2024 For those who remain, there are a scant handful of jobs; as in the days when the currents in the fjord isolated the community, fishing is still the cornerstone. Discover Magazine, 16 Feb. 2024 Alberdi had long admired their respective careers, but after Góngora publicly revealed details about his deteriorating health, the filmmaker witnessed how Urrutia would bring him around other people as part of her theater rehearsals, rather than isolating him. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 14 Feb. 2024 Individuals who do not have a fever should isolate at home between four and five days after the start of their symptoms. Brianna Taylor, Sacramento Bee, 14 Feb. 2024 Stray shots Interesting choice to so thoroughly isolate Torres for the bulk of this episode! EW.com, 12 Feb. 2024 With Israel then isolated and exposed, Iran will be able to liberate al-Quds as the Jewish state collapses like a spiderweb, to use Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah’s preferred analogy. Seth Cropsey, National Review, 10 Feb. 2024 This has been a recurring nightmare, with Buffalo torching Miami by isolating running backs, tight ends and receivers against Dolphins linebackers. Barry Jackson, Miami Herald, 9 Feb. 2024
Adjective
People who been in close contact with sick individuals can now self-isolate at home for five days. Karson Yiu, ABC News, 7 Dec. 2022 However, those who have tested positive still need to self-isolate and wear masks. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 12 Aug. 2022 The pair hosted a virtual bingo night for a senior living home, whose residents had to self-isolate in the living facility, and donated 110,000 masks to hospitals across rural Texas. Lynsey Eidell, Peoplemag, 19 Oct. 2022 In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Arielle reportedly ignored shelter-in-place mandates to self-isolate in the Hamptons. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 7 Dec. 2022 They’re being required to remain on the farm and self-isolate with their household groups, with the local council arranging deliveries of food and essential supplies. BostonGlobe.com, 12 July 2020 More than 2,000 people identified as contacts of Ebola patients have been ordered into makeshift isolation facilities or told to self-isolate at home. Nicholas Bariyo, WSJ, 8 Nov. 2022 The pandemic was rough having to self-isolate and continue working three full-time jobs as a social worker, grad student, and intern. Channy Ping, Rolling Stone, 29 Sep. 2022 Billy Gilmour had a positive test, and two England players, Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell were deemed close contacts and had to self-isolate. Steve Price, Forbes, 25 June 2022
Noun
Compared with compound proteins, isolates contain more protein and less fat, carbs, and lactose, the latter of which can cause GI distress and digestion issues for some, Dr. Titchenal explains. Jenny McCoy, Glamour, 2 Feb. 2024 But there can be a deep aesthetic of beauty, too, in the isolate, the singular, the solitary, no-longer-connected or not-yet-fitted. New York Times, 1 Feb. 2024 Some people prefer broad-spectrum for the potential entourage effect, while others choose isolates to avoid any trace elements of other cannabinoids. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 18 Oct. 2023 And a previous study showed that the drug was effective, when tested in a laboratory, against 13,000 drug-resistant gonorrhea isolates. Helen Branswell, STAT, 1 Nov. 2023 Full-spectrum contains multiple cannabinoids and terpenes, while isolate contains only pure CBD. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 20 Oct. 2023 These products are generally considered more beneficial than isolates. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 6 Sep. 2023 Products on the affordable end of the pricing spectrum use CBD isolate, which is just pure CBD. The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 Sep. 2023 The whey protein is a combination of isolate, concentrate, and hydrolysate forms of whey. Isabel Vasquez Rd Ldn, Health, 28 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

First Known Use

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of isolate was in 1799

Dictionary Entries Near isolate

Cite this Entry

“Isolate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/isolate. Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

isolate

verb
iso·​late
ˈī-sə-ˌlāt,
 also  ˈis-ə-
isolated; isolating
: to set or keep apart from others
Etymology

Verb

derived from French isolé (adjective) "isolated, set off from others," from Italian isola "island," from Latin insula "island" — related to insulate, isle, peninsula

Medical Definition

isolate

1 of 2 transitive verb
iso·​late ˈī-sə-ˌlāt How to pronounce isolate (audio)
isolated; isolating
: 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

2 of 2 noun
iso·​late ˈī-sə-lət How to pronounce isolate (audio) -ˌlāt How to pronounce isolate (audio)
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

More from Merriam-Webster on isolate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!