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[ahyl] /aɪl/
a small island.
any island.
verb (used with object), isled, isling.
to make into or as if into an isle.
to place on or as if on an isle.
Origin of isle
1250-1300; Middle English i(s)le < Old French < Latin īnsula
Related forms
isleless, adjective
Can be confused
aisle, I'll, isle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for isle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They were Europeans, and their earliest home had been in the isle of Crete.

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • The scene of Turkish cruelty was now transferred to the isle of Crete.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • Upon an isle not far from home they hid the young wolf pups.

  • Ahead the northeast headland of the isle of Sheppey was bulking large and near.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • The Manx cat came from the isle of Man originally, and is a distinct breed.

    Concerning Cats Helen M. Winslow
British Dictionary definitions for isle


an island, esp a small one: used in literature and (when cap.) in place names
Word Origin
C13: from Old French isle, from Latin insula island
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for isle

late 13c., from Old French ile, earlier isle, from Latin insula "island," of uncertain origin, perhaps (as the Ancients guessed) from in salo "(that which is) in the sea," from ablative of salum "the open sea." The -s- was restored first in French, then in English in the late 1500s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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