Definition of isolate in English:

Share this entry



Pronunciation: /ˈīsəˌlāt/
[with object]
1Cause (a person or place) to be or remain alone or apart from others: a country that is isolated from the rest of the world
More example sentences
  • First of all, we put ourselves in a position where we were really isolated from our friends and family.
  • We were well isolated from the run-down neighborhoods and troubled conditions of the city.
  • We are really isolated from the rest of our planet.
1.1Identify (something) and examine or deal with it separately: you can’t isolate stress from the management context
More example sentences
  • The goal is to identify and isolate three dozen such targets that could be destroyed by precision strikes.
  • Once that trend is identified, we can isolate the cause through other means and look at ways of addressing more specific problems.
  • To reach the right solution, isolate what's causing the problem.
identify, single out, pick out, point out, spot, recognize, distinguish, pinpoint, locate
1.2 Chemistry & Biology Obtain or extract (a compound, microorganism, etc.) in a pure form.
Example sentences
  • But first, they had to isolate the compound in pure form.
  • However, it was not until the early nineteenth century that these compounds were reproducibly isolated and analyzed.
  • Total yeast RNA was isolated by hot phenol extraction.
1.3Cut off the electrical or other connection to (something, especially a part of a supply network).
Example sentences
  • How are connections to customer networks isolated?
  • Gas and electricity engineers were called to isolate the supplies.
  • In event of a thermal runaway, electrical power should be isolated, and no attempt should be made to handle or move the battery for at least 30 minutes.
1.4Place (a person or animal) in quarantine as a precaution against infectious or contagious disease.
Example sentences
  • Patients with ‘active’ disease are infectious and must be isolated until the disease is controlled.
  • When a child is sick with scarlet fever due to a strep throat infection, it is wise to isolate him or her from other family members, especially infants and very young brothers and sisters.
  • Most likely your veterinarian or local aquarium store will recommend isolating your infected fish or disposing of them.


Pronunciation: /ˈīsələt/
1A person or thing that has been or become isolated: social isolates often become careless of their own welfare
More example sentences
  • The men who end up on Skid Row are social isolates.
  • But in high school, they tended to be outsiders - social isolates or whatever.
  • Some, but not all of these creators were social isolates, eccentrics, and obsessives.
1.1 Biology A culture of microorganisms isolated for study.
Example sentences
  • The invasive isolates were mostly obtained from blood whereas the non invasive isolates were isolated from throat.
  • Our study was based on clinical isolates obtained from patients.
  • Overall, 189 bacterial isolates from 149 patients were misidentified.



Pronunciation: /ˈīs(ə)ləb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Debates over what is patentable typically revolve around questions of isolable genes and gene sequences.
  • I would argue that ‘the Christian tradition’ is not so easily identifiable and isolable as an unchanging measure against which any position can be declared ‘orthodox’ or ‘heretical.’
  • So, the result may be that psychological scientists become very concerned with short-term results that preferably can be packaged as multiple isolable bits that can be sent to different journals.


Example sentences
  • Practices of knowing and being are not isolatable, but rather they are mutually implicated.
  • Large-scale over-expression and purification of the mutants resulted in comparable quantities of isolatable enzymes.
  • These cells form a well ordered, isolatable BB that is morphologically and compositionally comparable to those from the proximal tubule epithelial cell.


Pronunciation: /-ˌlātər/
Example sentences
  • The power is in an isolator at the bottom of the crane and that is padlocked.
  • These combiners use low-loss, low IM dual-stage isolators with integrated coaxial cavities.
  • In addition, Freightliner decreased cab noise by improving the exhaust isolators and the clutch linkage.


Early 19th century (as a verb): back-formation from isolated.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: i·so·late

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.