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

transitive + intransitive

: to isolate or separate oneself or itself from others
Feelings of shame and a tendency to self-isolate in order to hide the behaviors can result in loss of social support.Alex Gitterman
My husband and I are both 85 and have heart problems, so even before the new orders we were self-isolating to avoid getting or passing on coronavirus.Louise Cate
Government officials said that public gatherings must be restricted to two people … . Those over 70 should self-isolate themselves.Lidia Kelly
self-isolated people/countries

Examples of self-isolate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web However, this inclination to self-isolate comes at a cost. Mark Travers, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2024 Many residents self-isolate, afraid to leave their homes. Caitlin Stephen Hu, CNN, 18 Mar. 2024 The blended family even self-isolated together at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Becca Longmire, Peoplemag, 5 Feb. 2024 People who tended to self-isolate were joining VR activities such as flight simulators and beachside meditations. Tatum Hunter, Washington Post, 21 Dec. 2023 Taylor finds tenderness in Inez’s steely exterior and tendency to self-isolate. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Dec. 2023 The Ghost star shared a photo of her and her ex-husband self-isolating together in matching pajamas at their nearby homes in Idaho. Erin Clack, Peoplemag, 9 Sep. 2023 Pundits, of course, have cried wolf about such divisions for years, and the smaller countries that attempt to self-isolate will be unable to succeed. Adam S. Posen, Foreign Affairs, 17 Mar. 2022 People who are infected and fail to self-isolate continue to be vilified. Rebecca Panovka, Harper's Magazine, 9 Dec. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'self-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

First Known Use

1925, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-isolate was in 1925

Dictionary Entries Near self-isolate

Cite this Entry

“Self-isolate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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