iso·​la·​tion | \ ˌī-sə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce isolation (audio) also ˌi- \

Definition of isolation

: the action of isolating : the condition of being isolated

Choose the Right Synonym for isolation

solitude, isolation, seclusion mean the state of one who is alone. solitude may imply a condition of being apart from all human beings or of being cut off by wish or circumstances from one's usual associates. a few quiet hours of solitude isolation stresses detachment from others often involuntarily. the isolation of the village in winter seclusion suggests a shutting away or keeping apart from others often connoting deliberate withdrawal from the world or retirement to a quiet life. lived in pastoral seclusion

Examples of isolation in a Sentence

the isolation of the mountain community forced isolation always made the sociable child lonely
Recent Examples on the Web Though different social and economic forces were at play, the Covid lockdowns reminded many of the relative cultural isolation of Australia in the 1980s. Vogue, 17 May 2022 The isolation makes many who live in this part of California feel divorced from places like Los Angeles and San Francisco. Phil Willonstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 16 May 2022 The isolation of the beginning of the pandemic took a toll on everyone. Myrna Petlicki, Chicago Tribune, 13 May 2022 Her husband and son died years ago, and there had been a time when the isolation had felt bearable. Washington Post, 7 May 2022 Even with people getting together again, both in and out of the workplace, the isolation of the pandemic isn’t easily shaken off. Chandra Steele, PCMAG, 4 May 2022 All that pandemic-era remote work and social distancing has been a windfall for Airbnb, as more travelers favored the relative isolation of an Airbnb over a hotel. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 29 Apr. 2022 AirPods and other earbuds simply can’t compete with the physical noise isolation that over-ear models like this provide. Learn how to grow your own food from just a quarter acre of land or less. Paige Szmodis, Popular Mechanics, 25 Apr. 2022 The isolation increases a victim’s dependency on their abuser and downgrades their self-esteem. Erica Sweeney, Good Housekeeping, 22 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'isolation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of isolation

1833, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for isolation

Time Traveler

The first known use of isolation was in 1833

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Dictionary Entries Near isolation

isolating mechanism


isolation booth

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Statistics for isolation

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Isolation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for isolation


iso·​la·​tion | \ ˌī-sə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce isolation (audio) \

Kids Definition of isolation

: the act of keeping apart from others : the condition of being kept apart from others … it was the cows who were responsible for the wood's isolation— Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting


iso·​la·​tion | \ ˌī-sə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce isolation (audio) \

Medical Definition of isolation

1 : the action of isolating or condition of being isolated isolation of a virus put the patient in isolation
2 : a segregation of a group of organisms from related forms in such a manner as to prevent crossing
3 : a psychological defense mechanism consisting of the separating of ideas or memories from the emotions connected with them

More from Merriam-Webster on isolation

Nglish: Translation of isolation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of isolation for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about isolation


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