isolated [ahy-suh-ley-tid, is-uh-] ExamplesWord Origin See more synonyms for isolated on adjective

  1. separated from other persons or things; alone; solitary.

Origin of isolated 1755–65; French isolé isolated (Italian; see isolato); see -ate1, -ed2 Related formsi·so·lat·ed·ly, adverbsem·i-i·so·lat·ed, adjective isolate [verb ahy-suh-leyt; noun, adjective ahy-suh-lit, -leyt] verb (used with object), i·so·lat·ed, i·so·lat·ing.

  1. to set or place apart; detach or separate so as to be alone.
  2. Medicine/Medical. to keep (an infected person) from contact with noninfected persons; quarantine.
  3. Chemistry, Bacteriology. to obtain (a substance or microorganism) in an uncombined or pure state.
  4. Electricity. to insulate.
  5. Television. to single out (a person, action, etc.) for a camera closeup.


  1. a person, thing, or group that is set apart or isolated, as for purposes of study.
  2. Psychology. a person, often shy or lacking in social skills, who avoids the company of others and has no friends within a group.
  3. Biology. an inbreeding population that is isolated from similar populations by physiological, behavioral, or geographic barriers.
  4. Also called language isolate. Linguistics. a language with no demonstrable genetic relationship, as Basque.
  5. something that has been isolated, as a by-product in a manufacturing process: an isolate of soy flour.


  1. isolated; alone.

Origin of isolate First recorded in 1800–10; back formation from isolated Related formsi·so·la·tor, nounre·i·so·late, verb (used with object), re·i·so·lat·ed, re·i·so·lat·ing.un·i·so·late, verb (used with object), un·i·so·lat·ed, un·i·so·lat·ing. Related Words for isolated secluded, unusual, lonely, remote, segregated, outlying, deserted, confined, hidden, detached, retired, abandoned, stranded, forsaken, screened, single, withdrawn, abnormal, alone, anomalous Examples from the Web for isolated Contemporary Examples of isolated

  • Isolated lesbians learned that there were other women like them via books whose covers aimed to titillate heterosexual men.

    How Pulp Fiction Saved Literature

    Wendy Smith

    January 8, 2015

  • Which is impossible unless people talk publicly rather than letting each crime be its own isolated incident.

    Cover-Ups and Concern Trolls: Actually, It’s About Ethics in Suicide Journalism

    Arthur Chu

    January 3, 2015

  • For many years, visitors were barred from the isolated towns.

    The Himalayas’ Hidden Aryans

    Nina Strochlic

    January 3, 2015

  • He has contributed to a false picture of law enforcement based on isolated injustices.

    Bill de Blasio’s Tea Party Problem

    Will Cain

    December 30, 2014

  • All of us can readily conjure up horror scenarios by the isolated person acting badly.

    Red Tape Is Strangling Good Samaritans

    Philip K. Howard

    December 27, 2014

  • Historical Examples of isolated

  • The Causses, owing to their isolated position, may be said to have escaped a history.

    The Roof of France

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • Standing up, I pointed to distant mountains and isolated peaks.

    Green Mansions

    W. H. Hudson

  • The book I give to the public, is not made up of isolated articles.

    Slavery Ordained of God

    Rev. Fred A. Ross, D.D.

  • Hermits and those who live on isolated farms are interesting in this respect.

    The Sexual Question

    August Forel

  • If only he had been an isolated soul he would not have felt so keenly.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill

  • British Dictionary definitions for isolated isolate verb (ˈaɪsəˌleɪt) (tr)

    1. to place apart; cause to be alone
    2. med to quarantine (a person or animal) having or suspected of having a contagious disease
    3. to obtain (a compound) in an uncombined form
    4. to obtain pure cultures of (bacteria, esp those causing a particular disease)
    5. electronics to prevent interaction between (circuits, components, etc); insulate

    noun (ˈaɪsəlɪt)

    1. an isolated person or group

    Derived Formsisolable, adjectiveisolability, nounisolator, nounWord Origin for isolate C19: back formation from isolated, via Italian from Latin insulātus, literally: made into an island; see insulate Word Origin and History for isolated adj.

    1763, from French isolé “isolated” (17c.) + English -ated (see -ate (2)). The French word is from Italian isolato, from Latin insulatus “made into an island,” from insula “island.” The French word was used at first in English (isole, also isole’d, c.1750), then after isolate became an English word, isolated became its past participle.

    isolate v.

    by 1786, a new formation from isolated (q.v.).

    The translation of this work is well performed, excepting that fault from which few translations are wholly exempt, and which is daily tending to corrupt our language, the adoption of French expressions. We have here evasion for escape, twice or more times repeated; brigands very frequently; we have the unnecessary and foolish word isolate; and, if we mistake not, paralize, which at least has crept in through a similar channel. Translators cannot be too careful on this point, as it is a temptation to which they are constantly exposed. [“The British Critic,” April 1799]

    As a noun from 1890, from earlier adjectival use (1819).

    isolated in Medicine isolate [ī′sə-lāt′] v.

    1. To set apart or cut off from others.
    2. To place in quarantine.
    3. To separate a pure strain from a mixed bacterial or fungal culture.
    4. To separate or remove a chemical substance out of a combined mixture.
    5. To separate experiences or memories from the emotions relating to them.


    1. A bacterial or fungal strain that has been isolated.

    Related formsi′so•la′tor n.

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