[ ahy-luhnd ]
See synonyms for island on
  1. a tract of land completely surrounded by water, and not large enough to be called a continent.

  2. something resembling an island, especially in being isolated or having little or no direct communication with others.

  1. a raised platform with a counter or other work surface on top situated in the middle area of a room, especially a kitchen, so as to permit access from all sides.

  2. a low concrete platform for gasoline pumps at an automotive service station.

  3. a clump of woodland in a prairie.

  4. an isolated hill.

  5. Anatomy. an isolated portion of tissue differing in structure from the surrounding tissue.

  6. Railroads. a platform or building between sets of tracks.

verb (used with object)
  1. to make into an island.

  2. to dot with islands.

  1. to place on an island; isolate.

Origin of island

First recorded before 900; Middle English iland, Old English īgland, īland, variant of īegland, from īeg “island” (cognate with Old Norse ey ) + land land; spelling with -s- by association with isle

Other words from island

  • is·land·ish, is·land·like, adjective
  • is·land·less, adjective

Words Nearby island Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use island in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for island


/ (ˈaɪlənd) /

  1. a mass of land that is surrounded by water and is smaller than a continent

  1. anatomy a part, structure, or group of cells distinct in constitution from its immediate surroundings: Related adjective: insular

verb(tr) rare
  1. to cause to become an island

  2. to intersperse with islands

  1. to place on an island; insulate; isolate

Origin of island

Old English īgland, from īg island + land; s inserted through influence of isle

Derived forms of island

  • island-like, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for island


[ īlənd ]

  1. A land mass, especially one smaller than a continent, entirely surrounded by water.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.