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[in-suh-leyt, ins-yuh-] /ˈɪn səˌleɪt, ˈɪns yə-/
verb (used with object), insulated, insulating.
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.
to place in an isolated situation or condition; segregate.
Origin of insulate
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for uninsulated
Historical Examples
  • The free, uninsulated wire (except at supports) extended several hundred feet through the air.

    The Invention of the Track Circuit American Railway Association
  • The interior sphere was insulated, the external one uninsulated.

  • Straight ahead they went now, bending low, dodging elbows of big gas mains, on the alert for uninsulated electric wires.

    The Black Star Johnston McCulley
  • Thus the train, wherever it stands, bridges a gap separating the insulated from the uninsulated section.

British Dictionary definitions for uninsulated


verb (transitive)
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
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 uninsulated



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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