from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A landmass, especially one smaller than a continent, entirely surrounded by water.
  • noun Something resembling an island, especially in being isolated or surrounded, as.
  • noun An unattached kitchen counter providing easy access from all sides.
  • noun A raised curbed area, often used to delineate rows of parking spaces or lanes of traffic.
  • noun The superstructure of a ship, especially an aircraft carrier.
  • noun Anatomy A cluster of cells differing in structure or function from the cells constituting the surrounding tissue.
  • transitive verb To make into or as if into an island; insulate.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • See Iceland, Iceland dog.
  • noun A tract of land surrounded by water, whether of the sea, a river, or a lake: in contradistinction to mainland or continent.
  • noun Something resembling an island: as, an island of floating ice.
  • noun A hill rising out of low ground or swampy land, a small clump of woodland in a prairie, or the like.
  • noun A meringue of white of egg and sugar floating in divisions upon soft custard.
  • noun In anatomy, any circumscribed portion of tissue or aggregation of cells differing in structure from the surrounding parts.
  • Isolated; separate.
  • To cause to become or appear like an island; insulate.
  • To dot as with islands.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To cause to become or to resemble an island; to make an island or islands of; to isle.
  • transitive verb To furnish with an island or with islands.
  • noun A tract of land surrounded by water, and smaller than a continent. Cf. Continent.
  • noun Anything regarded as resembling an island.
  • noun (Zoöl.) See Isle, n., 2.
  • noun (Myth.) islands supposed to lie in the Western Ocean, where the favorites of the gods are conveyed at death, and dwell in everlasting joy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A contiguous area of land, smaller than a continent, totally surrounded by water.
  • noun An entity surrounded by other entities that are very different from itself.
  • noun A superstructure on an aircraft carrier's deck
  • noun UK A traffic island.
  • verb transitive To surround with water; make into an island
  • verb transitive To set, dot (as if) with islands
  • verb transitive To isolate

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a zone or area resembling an island
  • noun a land mass (smaller than a continent) that is surrounded by water


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Alteration (influenced by isle) of Middle English ilond, from Old English īegland : īg, īeg; see akw-ā- in Indo-European roots + land, land; see lendh- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From earlier iland, from Middle English iland, yland, ylond, from Old English īġland, īeġland, ēaland ("island"), from Old English īeġ ("island") (from Proto-Germanic *awiz, *awjō (“island, water, waterland, meadow”), from Proto-Indo-European *akw- (“water”)) + land ("land"), equivalent to ea +‎ land. Cognate with Scots iland, yland ("island"), West Frisian eilân ("island"), Saterland Frisian Ailound ("island"), Dutch eiland ("island"), Low German Eiland ("island"), German Eiland ("island"), Danish øland ("island"), Icelandic eyland ("island"). The erroneous insertion of s—a late (16th century) spelling modification—is due to unrelated term isle. Related also to German Aue ("water-meadow"), Latin aqua ("water"). More at ea.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word island.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.