[in-suh-ler, ins-yuh-]
See more synonyms for insular on
  1. of or relating to an island or islands: insular possessions.
  2. dwelling or situated on an island.
  3. forming an island: insular rocks.
  4. detached; standing alone; isolated.
  5. of, relating to, or characteristic of islanders.
  6. narrow-minded or illiberal; provincial: insular attitudes toward foreigners.
  7. Pathology. occurring in or characterized by one or more isolated spots, patches, or the like.
  8. 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
Related formsin·su·lar·ism, nounin·su·lar·i·ty, nounin·su·lar·ly, adverbin·ter·in·su·lar, adjectivetrans·in·su·lar, adjectiveun·in·su·lar, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for insularity

intolerance, bigotry, bias, prejudice, insularity

Examples from the Web for insularity

Contemporary Examples of insularity

Historical Examples of insularity

  • It has at least this to its credit that we view our insularity with less composure.

    The Fleets Behind the Fleet

    W. MacNeile (William MacNeile) Dixon

  • We see now that there are two sides to this blessing of insularity.

    The Fleets Behind the Fleet

    W. MacNeile (William MacNeile) Dixon

  • Left to itself, the insularity in him would have evaded the issue.

    The Helpers

    Francis Lynde

  • This indifference to other writers of his time, this insularity, was doubtless his loss.

    Ponkapog Papers

    Thomas Bailey Aldrich

  • But in course of time they broke through their insularity with the force of their own arms.

    Roman Women

    Alfred Brittain

British Dictionary definitions for insularity


  1. of, relating to, or resembling an island
  2. remote, detached, or aloof
  3. illiberal or narrow-minded
  4. isolated or separated
Derived Formsinsularism or insularity (ˌɪnsjʊˈlærɪtɪ), nouninsularly, adverb

Word Origin for insular

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

Word Origin and History for insularity

1755, "narrowness of feelings," from insular + -ity. Literal sense attested from 1790.



1610s, "of or pertaining to an island," from Late Latin insularis, from Latin insula "island" (see isle). Metaphoric sense "narrow, prejudiced" is 1775, from notion of being cut off from intercourse with other nations, especially with reference to the situation of Great Britain. Earlier adjective in the literal sense was insulan (mid-15c.), from Latin insulanus.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

insularity in Medicine


[ĭnsə-lər, ĭnsyə-]
  1. Of or being an isolated tissue or island of tissue.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.