[ahy-luh nd]


verb (used with object)

Origin of island

before 900; Middle English iland, Old English īgland, īland, variant of īegland, equivalent to īeg island (cognate with Old Norse ey) + land land; spelling with -s- by association with isle
Related formsis·land·ish, is·land·like, adjectiveis·land·less, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for island

Contemporary Examples of island

Historical Examples of island

  • The natives of this part of the island became very friendly, as soon as they had recovered from their first suspicions.

  • Next in importance to the fiscal laws for the revenue of the Island comes the currency question.

    Industrial Cuba

    Robert P. Porter

  • There was abundant vegetation upon the island, but it does not appear to have looked quite real.

    The Treasury of Ancient Egypt

    Arthur E. P. B. Weigall

  • She was trying to remember all she knew of the courts of the island—where they were held, and on what days.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • Her skeleton was long a conspicuous object, visited by ramblers on the Island.

    Toronto of Old

    Henry Scadding

British Dictionary definitions for island



a mass of land that is surrounded by water and is smaller than a continent
anatomy a part, structure, or group of cells distinct in constitution from its immediate surroundingsRelated adjective: insular

verb (tr) rare

to cause to become an island
to intersperse with islands
to place on an island; insulate; isolate
Derived Formsisland-like, adjective

Word Origin for island

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

1590s, earlier yland (c.1300), from Old English igland "island," from ieg "island" (from Proto-Germanic *aujo "thing on the water," from PIE *akwa- "water;" see aqua-) + land "land." Spelling modified 15c. by association with similar but unrelated isle. An Old English cognate was ealand "river-land, watered place, meadow by a river." In place names, Old English ieg is often used of "slightly raised dry ground offering settlement sites in areas surrounded by marsh or subject to flooding" [Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names]. Related: Islander.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for island




An isolated tissue or group of cells that is separated from the surrounding tissues by a groove or is marked by a difference in structure or function.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for island



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.