[ in-suh-leyt, ins-yuh- ]
/ ˈɪn səˌleɪt, ˈɪns yə- /

verb (used with object), in·su·lat·ed, in·su·lat·ing.

to cover, line, or separate with a material that prevents or reduces the passage, transfer, or leakage of heat, electricity, or sound: to insulate an electric wire with a rubber sheath; to insulate a coat with down.
to place in an isolated situation or condition; segregate.

Nearby words

  1. insular,
  2. insular celtic,
  3. insularity,
  4. insularize,
  5. insularly,
  6. insulating tape,
  7. insulation,
  8. insulative,
  9. insulator,
  10. insulin

Origin of insulate

First recorded in 1530–40, insulate is from the Latin word insulātus made into an island. See insula, -ate1

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for uninsulated

  • Straight ahead they went now, bending low, dodging elbows of big gas mains, on the alert for uninsulated electric wires.

    The Black Star|Johnston McCulley
  • The free, uninsulated wire (except at supports) extended several hundred feet through the air.

    The Invention of the Track Circuit|American Railway Association
  • Thus the train, wherever it stands, bridges a gap separating the insulated from the uninsulated section.

  • The interior sphere was insulated, the external one uninsulated.

British Dictionary definitions for uninsulated


/ (ˈɪnsjʊˌleɪt) /

verb (tr)

to prevent or reduce the transmission of electricity, heat, or sound to or from (a body, device, or region) by surrounding with a nonconducting material
to isolate or detach

Word Origin for insulate

C16: from Late Latin insulātus: made into an 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 uninsulated



1530s, "make into an island," from Latin insulatus, from insula (see insular). Sense of "cause a person or thing to be detached from surroundings" is from 1785. Electrical/chemical sense of "block from electricity or heat" is from 1742. Related: Insulated; insulating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper