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2 : an individual socially withdrawn or removed from society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 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

The iconic wall once isolated West Berlin from East Germany during the Cold War. Karen Huppertz, ajc, "Berlin Wall display will remain in Suwanee," 7 July 2018 Santos, a big backer of U.S. attempts to isolate Maduro, said an invasion would have zero support in the region. Joshua Goodman, Fox News, "US official: Trump pressed aides about Venezuela invasion," 4 July 2018 Santos, a big backer of U.S. attempts to isolate Maduro, said an invasion would have zero support in the region. Joshua Goodman, chicagotribune.com, "U.S. official: Trump pressed aides about Venezuela invasion," 4 July 2018 Santos, a big backer of U.S. attempts to isolate Maduro, said an invasion would have zero support in the region. Joshua Goodman, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump pressed aides on Venezuela invasion, US official says," 4 July 2018 Despite their rich and well-connected pedigree, the mother and daughter pair were almost completely isolated from the outside world and, surprisingly, were living in abject squalor. refinery29.com, "Why Fashion People Love Cult Film Grey Gardens," 3 July 2018 So while there is likely to be plenty of plain-speaking in Quebec, there will be no attempt to isolate Mr. Trump. Simon Nixon, WSJ, "Why Angry Europeans Won’t Isolate Trump at G-7 Summit," 6 June 2018 Asheville Fire Department In Henderson County, nearly six inches of rain isolated the community of Bat Cave from the rest of the county. Bruce Henderson, Mark Price And Lavendrick Smith, charlotteobserver, "Storm 'proving deadly': NC declares state of emergency as rivers hit record-high levels," 30 May 2018 On Friday afternoon, the lava changed dramatically with one fissure ramping up and sending a flow across a road, destroying four more homes and isolating residents, some of whom had to be air-lifted to safety. CBS News, "Hawaii lava flow ramps up as new magma mixes with old," 20 May 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

6 Nov 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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