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: an individual socially withdrawn or removed from society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
Few understand how isolated the route can be, said Tellez. Rachel Uranga, Los Angeles Times, 14 May 2024 This is not the first time our devices have offered companionship, while in reality, further isolating us from each other. Maxwell Zeff / Gizmodo, Quartz, 13 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for isolate 

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 26 May. 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
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