Definition of insular in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɪnsjʊlə/


1Ignorant of or uninterested in cultures, ideas, or peoples outside one’s own experience: a stubbornly insular farming people
More example sentences
  • For all the globalisation of the twenty-first century, we live in a fairly insular society where ‘outside’ opinions are seldom expressed or discussed.
  • Though police inhabited an intensely insular culture, they shared one primary reference point with the citizens in whose name they served: the street.
  • My emnity is directed at management, which has an odd insular culture that seems utterly unaware of how their decisions affect the customer.
narrow-minded, limited, blinkered, restricted, inward-looking, conventional, parochial, provincial, small-town, localist, small-minded, petty-minded, petty, close-minded, short-sighted, myopic, hidebound, dyed-in-the-wool, diehard, set, set in one's ways, inflexible, dogmatic, rigid, entrenched, illiberal, intolerant, prejudiced, bigoted, biased, partisan, sectarian, xenophobic, discriminatory;
British  parish-pump, blimpish;
French borné
North American informal jerkwater
rare claustral
1.1Lacking contact with other people: people living restricted and sometimes insular existences
More example sentences
  • The peace and quiet of small town America seems to suit the taciturn Finn, but Joe, the loudmouth coffee wagon operator who parks outside Finn's depot, challenges Finn's insular existence.
  • As a result, we have become very insular, and my parents in particular have found it difficult to form lasting friendships, or indeed temporary acquaintanceships.
  • We, in our society, too frequently place ourselves in insular groups that do not freely talk to one another.
isolated, inaccessible, cut off, closed, separate, segregated, detached, solitary, lonely, insulated, self-contained, self-sufficient
2Relating to or from an island: goods of insular origin
More example sentences
  • Island populations and insular endemics thus appear to be especially vulnerable to extinction due to genetic factors.
  • In part, because Australia you know is an insular continent and islands have suffered disproportionately because their faunas are often isolated and not used to invading disturbances.
  • Several years later, this hypothesis shaped a large part of island biogeography theory, and the ease of insular invasions was often attributed to the lack of competition.
2.1Relating to a form of Latin handwriting used in Britain and Ireland in the early Middle Ages: insular illumination of the 6th century
More example sentences
  • Gold and silver were sometimes used in the production of manuscripts (after the early insular script).
  • Biblical manuscripts, Gospels and psalters, were the most elaborately illuminated products of insular, Carolingian, Ottonian, and Anglo-Saxon art.
2.2(Of climate) equable because of the influence of the sea.
Example sentences
  • Shalisa Creek Bay had been settling in for a day of quiet, insular restfulness.
3 Anatomy Relating to the insula of the brain.
Example sentences
  • What this told us was that he had damage to two areas of the brain: the insular cortex and parts of the basal ganglia.
  • The central sulcus of the insula runs upwards and backwards, dividing the insular cortex into a precentral lobule with short gyri and a postcentral lobule with one or two long gyri.
  • The claustrum is a layer of gray matter that lies on the medial aspect of the insular cortex, from which it is separated by a sheet of white fibers known as the extreme capsule.



Pronunciation: /ˈɪnsjʊləli/
Example sentences
  • This also stands in contrast with the United States Supreme Court which in constitutional affairs has robustly - insularly, it has been said by some - asserted its preference for its own norms.
  • Thinking insularly, Laura confines her politics to domestic concerns, and her critique of domesticity as a justification for domestic politics extends only as far as England's border.
  • As a matter of fact, a better way to describe its current events situational satire is to consider it insularly relevant, focusing on the more abnormal elements of the newsworthy to draw out its own internal logic.


Mid 16th century (as a noun denoting an islander): from late Latin insularis, from insula 'island'.

  • The earliest use of insular, in the mid 16th century, was as a noun meaning ‘an islander’. Islanders were popularly regarded as narrow-minded and ignorant of people and cultures outside their own experience, and the adjective insular later developed this meaning. The word itself goes back to Latin insula ‘island’, the source also of isle ( see island), and of insulate (mid 16th century), and insulin (early 20th century). The hormone insulin, produced by the pancreas, gets its name from the islets of Langerhans, the group of pancreatic cells that secrete it. Paul Langerhans was the 19th-century German anatomist who first described them.

Words that rhyme with insular


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in|su¦lar

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