A lot vs. Alot: 9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ahy-suh-ley-ting, is-uh-] /ˈaɪ səˌleɪ tɪŋ, ˈɪs ə-/
adjective, Linguistics
pertaining to or noting a language, as Vietnamese, that uses few or no bound forms and in which grammatical relationships are indicated chiefly through word order.
Compare agglutinative (def 2), inflectional (def 2).
1855-60; isolate + -ing2


[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 isolating
  • isolating, affixing, symbolic-this also seemed insufficient for the reason that it laid too much stress on technical externals.
  • Only by isolating this feature can the comic effect be obtained which spreads in our memory over the whole picture.
  • The streets are vibrant and dreary, crowded and isolating, and make endlessly fascinating theater.
  • And yet driving can be a profoundly isolating experience.
  • Once they arrive at a new location, they quickly settle in for the long haul, genetically isolating themselves.
  • Scientists today are isolating chemicals that may help ailing heart, bone, and brain.
  • Tilting the camera, framing the scene off-balance, and isolating or combining pictorial elements are other compositional options.
  • Then it is time to do the real work: inching through the movement, isolating, perfecting.
  • Its notion of solitude was harsher, more adversarial, more isolating.
  • Life for advanced graduate students is inherently isolating-and that isolation can easily stall a dissertation.
British Dictionary definitions for isolating


(linguistics) another word for analytic


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 isolating



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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isolating 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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