iso·​la·​tion | \ˌī-sə-ˈlā-shən also ˌi- \

Definition of isolation 

: the action of isolating : the condition of being isolated

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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

One major benefit of their voluminous physical design is that the Momentums offer great noise isolation. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless review: sonic standout," 30 Nov. 2018 In the Trump era, in particular, white evangelical Christianity and nativist political isolation have become particularly intertwined. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Several white evangelical leaders reject anti-immigrant rhetoric. Why do their flocks embrace it?," 20 Nov. 2018 One of the number one reactions to PTSD is isolation. Christopher Carbone, Fox News, "Nonprofit teaches farming to vets, helps to reintegrate them into civilian life," 2 Oct. 2018 That gutsy determination was on display Wednesday in a video taken from the hospital isolation ward. Anchorage Daily News, "With V-for-Victory sign, rescued Thai boys celebrate freedom," 12 July 2018 Now based in Montreal, Foroughi returned to Iran to realize this tale of a talented, 17-year-old violinist (Mahour Jabbari) coping with her mother’s disapproval, unreasoning school authority and increasing isolation. Pam Grady,, "Mahour Jabbari plays the title character in Sadaf Foroughi’s drama ‘Ava’," 5 July 2018 For instance, there was recently a GWAS study on loneliness and social isolation. Brian Resnick, Vox, "How scientists are trying to predict your future with your genes," 23 Aug. 2018 The effect of that can be detrimental—deprivation, dissatisfaction with food, and social isolation. Abby Langer, SELF, "I'm a Registered Dietitian and I Really Don't Want You to Eat a Carnivore Diet," 7 Aug. 2018 These deficits in social cognition can increase the likelihood of peer rejection, and social isolation, adding to struggles with depression and social anxiety. Rene Hernandez-cardenache, Psy.d., M.s. Ed., miamiherald, "A focus on distraction: A closer look at adult ADHD," 2 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of isolation

1833, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for isolation

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for isolation

The first known use of isolation was in 1833

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More Definitions for isolation



English Language Learners Definition of isolation

: the state of being in a place or situation that is separate from others : the condition of being isolated

: the act of separating something from other things : the act of isolating something


iso·​la·​tion | \ˌī-sə-ˈlā-shən \

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 \

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

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Comments on isolation

What made you want to look up isolation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to enclose within walls

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