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insulate

[in-suh-leyt, ins-yuh-] /ˈɪn səˌleɪt, ˈɪns yə-/
verb (used with object), insulated, insulating.
1.
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.
2.
to place in an isolated situation or condition; segregate.
Origin of insulate
1530-1540
1530-40; < Latin insulātus made into an island. See insula, -ate1
Related forms
noninsulating, adjective
preinsulate, verb (used with object), preinsulated, preinsulating.
reinsulate, verb (used with object), reinsulated, reinsulating.
superinsulated, adjective
uninsulated, adjective
well-insulated, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for insulate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This was a matter of vital importance to him, and this man seemed able to insulate himself against either threat or suggestion.

    The Hidden Places Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • These, when dry, insulate almost, but not quite as well as solid paraffin.

    On Laboratory Arts Richard Threlfall
  • By means of the ribbon he held the cord to insulate it from his hand.

    The Story of Great Inventions Elmer Ellsworth Burns
  • Be sure to insulate all joints and wires well inside the box.

  • A simple porcelain cleat at either end, as shown in the drawing, will serve to insulate it sufficiently.

British Dictionary definitions for insulate

insulate

/ˈɪnsjʊˌleɪt/
verb (transitive)
1.
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
2.
to isolate or detach
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for insulate
v.

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
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