Definition of isolate in English:


Translate isolate into Spanish

Pronunciation /ˈīsəˌlāt/ /ˈaɪsəˌleɪt/

transitive verb

[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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When Winston Churchill opposed the conventional wisdom that Hitler was tolerable, he was isolated from public life, his sanity questioned.’
    • ‘During the last two to three decades, we were practically isolated from the outside world.’
    • ‘We used to hear news of the cease-fire on the car radio, but now we are isolated from the world.’
    • ‘He is isolated from human contact and immersed in the inanimate scene.’
    • ‘Here, Charlie certainly feels separate and alone, as if he is totally isolated from all those around him.’
    • ‘She was isolated from her former colleagues and fed up in McConnell's Cabinet.’
    • ‘She was isolated from her family and eventually did not have even a place to stay.’
    • ‘He was isolated from other patients and put on specialist drugs to try and combat the infection.’
    • ‘And so, this was a signal that was sent to further isolate Colin Powell.’
    • ‘The current situation isolates and marginalises families who most often have to try and survive on just one income.’
    • ‘In New Orleans, they found themselves socially isolated and ostracized.’
    • ‘Yet the city has always felt geographically isolated from the rest of Canada.’
    • ‘Another popular theory is that because Penghu is relatively isolated geographically it will be difficult for criminals to get away.’
    • ‘With war imminent, the US is becoming increasingly isolated diplomatically.’
    • ‘The village was completely isolated from the rest of the world and had a very peaceful and self-sufficient existence.’
    • ‘Increasingly isolated politically and weakened economically, Pyongyang has resorted to an international politics of survival.’
    separate, set apart, segregate, detach, cut off, keep apart, cocoon, insulate, quarantine, keep in solitude, sequester, cloister, seclude, divorce, shut away, alienate, distance, exclude, keep out
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Identify (something) and examine or deal with it separately.
      ‘you can't isolate stress from the management context’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If the entire world spoke at once, could you reliably isolate what a single individual is saying?’
      • ‘To try to isolate a factor responsible for controlling mite populations in bee colonies.’
      identify, single out, pick out, spot, point out, recognize, pinpoint, pin down, put one's finger on, discern, distinguish, discover, find, locate
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    2. 1.2Chemistry Biology Obtain or extract (a compound, microorganism, etc.) in a pure form.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Mutants isolated in the screen were divided into three classes on the basis of phenotype.’
      • ‘Strain 90-226 was originally isolated from the blood of a patient with sepsis.’
    3. 1.3Cut off the electrical or other connection to (something, especially a part of a supply network).
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The supermarket called a refrigeration engineer who isolated the supply of leaking refrigeration gas and began to repair the leak.’
      • ‘The fire spread to the electrical space below, but a quick response by the crew ensured power was isolated and the fire dealt with, although nine crewmen were injured through smoke inhalation.’
    4. 1.4Place (a person or animal) in quarantine as a precaution against infectious or contagious disease.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The first cluster was that of healthcare workers in the two wards that he stayed before he was isolated.’
      • ‘People with infectious diseases may be isolated from those they might infect.’
      separate, set apart, segregate, detach, cut off, keep apart, cocoon, insulate, quarantine, keep in solitude, sequester, cloister, seclude, divorce, shut away, alienate, distance, exclude, keep out
      View synonyms


  • 1A person or thing that has been or become isolated.

    ‘social isolates often become careless of their own welfare’
    loner, solitary, lone wolf
    View synonyms
  • 2Biology
    A culture of microorganisms isolated for study.


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



/ˈīsəˌlāt/ /ˈaɪsəˌleɪt/