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[ahy-suh-ley-tid, is-uh-] /ˈaɪ səˌleɪ tɪd, ˈɪs ə-/
separated from other persons or things; alone; solitary.
Origin of isolated
1755-65; < French isolé isolated (< Italian; see isolato); see -ate, -ed2
Related forms
isolatedly, adverb
semi-isolated, adjective


[v. ahy-suh-leyt; n., adj. ahy-suh-lit, -leyt] /v. ˈaɪ səˌleɪt; n., adj. ˈaɪ sə lɪt, -ˌleɪt/
verb (used with object), isolated, isolating.
to set or place apart; detach or separate so as to be alone.
Medicine/Medical. to keep (an infected person) from contact with noninfected persons; quarantine.
Chemistry, Bacteriology. to obtain (a substance or microorganism) in an uncombined or pure state.
Electricity. to insulate.
Television. to single out (a person, action, etc.) for a camera closeup.
a person, thing, or group that is set apart or isolated, as for purposes of study.
Psychology. a person, often shy or lacking in social skills, who avoids the company of others and has no friends within a group.
Biology. an inbreeding population that is isolated from similar populations by physiological, behavioral, or geographic barriers.
Also called language isolate. Linguistics. a language with no demonstrable genetic relationship, as Basque.
something that has been isolated, as a by-product in a manufacturing process:
an isolate of soy flour.
isolated; alone.
1800-10; back formation from isolated
Related forms
isolator, noun
reisolate, verb (used with object), reisolated, reisolating.
unisolate, verb (used with object), unisolated, unisolating. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for isolated
  • When the isolated parts were viewed together, the paleontologists were struck by the size of the dinosaur.
  • There were probably a number of these isolated habitats.
  • The cheetahs had been isolated on a hilltop away from visitors in hopes they would mate.
  • Visitors navigate sharp corners, climb into alcoves and slip into half-hidden, isolated areas.
  • Sentences of this type, isolated from their context, may seem to be in need of rewriting.
  • Fermentation is no longer one of those isolated and mysterious phenomena which do not admit of explanation.
  • Instead of an isolated beggar, the farthest star felt him, and he felt the star.
  • However, the campus became isolated from the rest of the world.
  • If this were an isolated incident, one need not be overly concerned.
  • No longer would economics and engineering advances be isolated from each other.
British Dictionary definitions for isolated


verb (transitive) (ˈaɪsəˌleɪt)
to place apart; cause to be alone
(med) to quarantine (a person or animal) having or suspected of having a contagious disease
to obtain (a compound) in an uncombined form
to obtain pure cultures of (bacteria, esp those causing a particular disease)
(electronics) to prevent interaction between (circuits, components, etc); insulate
noun (ˈaɪsəlɪt)
an isolated person or group
Derived Forms
isolable, adjective
isolability, noun
isolator, noun
Word Origin
C19: back formation from isolated, via Italian from Latin insulātus, literally: made into an island; see 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
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Word Origin and History for isolated

1763, from French isolé "isolated" (17c.) + English -ated (see -ate (2)). The French word is from Italian isolato, from Latin insulatus "made into an island," from insula "island." The French word was used at first in English (isole, also isole'd, c.1750), then after isolate became an English word, isolated became its past participle.



by 1786, a new formation from isolated (q.v.).

The translation of this work is well performed, excepting that fault from which few translations are wholly exempt, and which is daily tending to corrupt our language, the adoption of French expressions. We have here evasion for escape, twice or more times repeated; brigands very frequently; we have the unnecessary and foolish word isolate; and, if we mistake not, paralize, which at least has crept in through a similar channel. Translators cannot be too careful on this point, as it is a temptation to which they are constantly exposed. ["The British Critic," April 1799]
As a noun from 1890, from earlier adjectival use (1819).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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isolated in Medicine

isolate i·so·late (ī'sə-lāt')
v. i·so·lat·ed, i·so·lat·ing, i·so·lates

  1. To set apart or cut off from others.

  2. To place in quarantine.

  3. To separate a pure strain from a mixed bacterial or fungal culture.

  4. To separate or remove a chemical substance out of a combined mixture.

  5. To separate experiences or memories from the emotions relating to them.

n. (-lĭt, -lāt')
A bacterial or fungal strain that has been isolated.
i'so·la'tor n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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isolated in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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