Word Origin & History
late 13c., from O.Fr. ile, earlier isle, from L. insula "island," of uncertain origin, perhaps from fem. of adj. *en-salos "in the sea," from salum "sea." The -s- was restored first in M.Fr., then in Eng. in the late 1500s. Dim. form islet is first recorded 1530s, from M.Fr. islette.