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[in-suh-ley-ter, ins-yuh-] /ˈɪn səˌleɪ tər, ˈɪns yə-/
  1. a material of such low conductivity that the flow of current through it is negligible.
  2. insulating material, often glass or porcelain, in a unit form designed so as to support a charged conductor and electrically isolate it.
a person or thing that insulates.
1795-1805; insulate + -or2
Related forms
noninsulator, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for insulators
  • But snow pack and other natural insulators can keep the frogs sufficiently warm during their winter hibernation.
  • The transistors are sandwiches of metals and insulators that must be laid down on a flat surface, which produces a rigid display.
  • Two strands of two millimeter galvanized wire, the top one indicated by the insulators on every tree, was the hot one.
  • In this case, officials say soot from nearby fires collected on the insulators.
  • But for the crystal to do its job, those elements must also be electrical insulators.
  • Metals are good conductors of electricity whilst insulators, by definition, are not.
  • Until recently, plastics were known more for being insulators than conductors or semiconductors.
  • The methylene groups act as insulators, trapping electrons within one of the rings.
  • The design seems to be a double circuit tower, and it employs post insulators.
  • These materials are relatively good insulators with good mechanical qualitative.
British Dictionary definitions for insulators


any material or device that insulates, esp a material with a very low electrical conductivity or thermal conductivity or something made of such a material
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 insulators



1801, agent noun in Latin form from insulate.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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insulators in Science
A material or an object that does not easily allow heat, electricity, light, or sound to pass through it. Air, cloth and rubber are good electrical insulators; feathers and wool make good thermal insulators. Compare conductor.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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insulators in Culture

insulator definition

A material that does not easily transmit energy, such as electric current or heat. Materials such as wood, plastic, and ceramics are insulators. Fiberglass is an example of a heat insulator. (Compare conductor.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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