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See more synonyms for isle on Thesaurus.com
  1. a small island.
  2. any island.
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verb (used with object), isled, isl·ing.
  1. to make into or as if into an isle.
  2. to place on or as if on an isle.
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Origin of isle

1250–1300; Middle English i(s)le < Old French < Latin īnsula
Related formsisle·less, adjective
Can be confusedaisle I'll isle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for isle

peninsula, reef, archipelago, enclave, islet, isle, sanctuary, bar, shelter, retreat, key, haven, refuge, atoll, cay, ait

Examples from the Web for isle

Contemporary Examples of isle

Historical Examples of isle

  • 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


  1. an island, esp a small one: used in literature and (when cap.) in place names
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Word Origin for isle

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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper