View synonyms for isolate


[ verb ahy-suh-leyt; noun adjective ahy-suh-lit, -leyt ]

verb (used with object)

, i·so·lat·ed, i·so·lat·ing.
  1. to set or place apart; detach or separate so as to be alone.
  2. Medicine/Medical. to keep (an infected person) from contact with noninfected persons; quarantine.
  3. Chemistry, Bacteriology. to obtain (a substance or microorganism) in an uncombined or pure state.
  4. Electricity. to insulate.
  5. Television. to single out (a person, action, etc.) for a camera closeup.


  1. a person, thing, or group that is set apart or isolated, as for purposes of study.
  2. Psychology. a person, often shy or lacking in social skills, who avoids the company of others and has no friends within a group.
  3. Biology. an inbreeding population that is isolated from similar populations by physiological, behavioral, or geographic barriers.
  4. Also called lan·guage i·so·late [lang, -gwij , ahy, -s, uh, -lit]. Linguistics. a language with no demonstrable genetic relationship, as Basque.
  5. something that has been isolated, as a by-product in a manufacturing process:

    an isolate of soy flour.


  1. isolated; alone.



  1. to place apart; cause to be alone
  2. med to quarantine (a person or animal) having or suspected of having a contagious disease
  3. to obtain (a compound) in an uncombined form
  4. to obtain pure cultures of (bacteria, esp those causing a particular disease)
  5. electronics to prevent interaction between (circuits, components, etc); insulate
“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


  1. an isolated person or group
“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
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Derived Forms

  • ˈisolable, adjective
  • ˈisoˌlator, noun
  • ˌisolaˈbility, noun
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Other Words From

  • i·so·la·tor noun
  • re·i·so·late verb (used with object) reisolated reisolating
  • un·i·so·late verb (used with object) unisolated unisolating
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Word History and Origins

Origin of isolate1

First recorded in 1800–10; back formation from isolated
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Word History and Origins

Origin of isolate1

C19: back formation from isolated, via Italian from Latin insulātus, literally: made into an island; see insulate
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Example Sentences

Existing abusive relationships have worsened, and digital abuse has seen an uptick as people have grown increasingly isolated and spent more time online.

Meunier is typically considered the junior partner in the Champagne triumvirate alongside chardonnay and pinot noir, and when you isolate it as Prévost does, the results are totally distinct.

From Eater

If players contract the virus the week before the NCAA tournament, there presumably wouldn’t be enough time for them to isolate, recover and return to play.

As to what the study could lead to in terms of actual interventions, the study’s authors note that it can help anticipate outcomes and isolate individuals from others who are at risk.

We’re being told that it’s safe for people to go to their jobs but we need to isolate at home as much as possible.

From Digiday

JUDNICK: My reaction is so visceral that I immediately, like you, isolate myself so I can breathe.

They are, after all, carefully selected “types,” and to isolate them runs the risk of seeing the book as an allegory.

We can do that because of two things: strong health care…and strong public health that can track contacts and isolate them.

Backed by NATO solidarity and economic sanctions with teeth, it just might isolate Putin enough that he backs off.

He made a decision to isolate himself, so I would ask did he think he was going to die when he realized he was exposed?

If now we wish to study one given form, it becomes necessary to isolate them from the others.

It is quite impossible to isolate children from every intimation of the erotic or the sexual.

It will be one of the future problems of plant and animal breeders to isolate and breed "mutants," as such organisms are called.

Do not allow two young children habitually to isolate themselves in their play.

Unfortunately I have yet been unable to isolate what causes the female principle here; so this is not a possibility yet.