[ in-suh-ler, ins-yuh- ]
See synonyms for: insularinsularsinsularity on

  1. narrow-minded or illiberal; provincial: insular attitudes toward foreigners.

  2. standing alone; detached; isolated: an insular building.

  1. of or relating to an island or islands: a nation's insular possessions.

  2. dwelling or situated on an island.

  3. forming an island: insular rocks.

  4. of, relating to, or characteristic of islanders or isolated people: insular tribes;insular sects.

  5. Pathology. occurring in or characterized by one or more isolated spots, patches, or the like.

  6. Anatomy. pertaining to an island of cells or tissue, as the islets of Langerhans.

  1. an inhabitant of an island; islander.

Origin of insular

From the Late Latin word insulāris, dating back to 1605–15. See insula, -ar1

Other words from insular

  • in·su·lar·ism, noun
  • in·su·lar·i·ty [in-suh-lar-i-tee, ins-yuh-] /ˌɪn sə ˈlær ɪ ti, ˈɪns yə-/ noun
  • in·su·lar·ly, adverb
  • in·ter·in·su·lar, adjective
  • trans·in·su·lar, adjective
  • un·in·su·lar, adjective

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

How to use insular in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for insular


/ (ˈɪnsjʊlə) /

  1. of, relating to, or resembling an island

  2. remote, detached, or aloof

  1. illiberal or narrow-minded

  2. isolated or separated

Origin of insular

C17: from Late Latin insulāris, from Latin insula island, isle

Derived forms of insular

  • insularism or insularity (ˌɪnsjʊˈlærɪtɪ), noun
  • insularly, adverb

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