Definitions

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

  • adj. Of, relating to, or constituting an island.
  • adj. Living or located on an island.
  • adj. Suggestive of the isolated life of an island: "He is an exceedingly insular man, so deeply private as to seem inaccessible to the scrutiny of a novelist” ( Leonard Michaels).
  • adj. Circumscribed and detached in outlook and experience; narrow or provincial.
  • adj. Anatomy Of or relating to isolated tissue or an island of tissue.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of, pertaining to, being, or resembling an island or islands.
  • adj. Situated on an island.
  • adj. Separate or isolated from the surroundings; having little interaction with external parties; provincial.
  • adj. Having an inward-looking, standoffish, or withdrawn manner.
  • n. An islander.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to an island; of the nature, or possessing the characteristics, of an island
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the people of an island; narrow; circumscribed; illiberal; contracted.
  • n. An islander.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to an island; surrounded by water: opposed to continental.
  • Hemmed in like an island; standing alone; surrounded by what is different or incongruous: as, an insular eminence in a plain.
  • Of or pertaining to the inhabitants of an island; characteristic of insulated or isolated persons; hence, narrow; contracted: as, insular prejudices.
  • In entomology, situated alone: applied to galls which occur singly on a leaf.
  • In anatomy, of or pertaining to the insula of the brain, or island of Reil.
  • n. One who dwells in an island; an islander.

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

  • adj. narrowly restricted in outlook or scope
  • adj. relating to or characteristic of or situated on an island
  • adj. suggestive of the isolated life of an island

Etymologies

French insulaire, from Late Latin īnsulāris, from Latin īnsula, island.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin insularis ("of or belonging to an island"), from insula ("an island"), perhaps, from in ("in") + salum ("the main sea"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The fairly unprecedented pomp of Friday's White House farewell ceremony for Rahm Emanuel speaks to his power and ubiquitousness in insular Washington, as he prepares to run for Mayor of Chicago.

    Mark Greenbaum: Rahm's Rocky Road to Mayoralty

  • And I'm glad that he is happy in insular little SMA - it's a lovely city - but when I visited there a year or so ago, I found that so many of the local extranjeros seemed to consider themselves so cool just because they could afford to live there that I was almost embarrassed by it.

    Subway?

  • North Dakota politics is often called insular, but this looks like a political version of

    Hot Air » Top Picks

  • Another word Dido often uses is "insular" -- that one describes not her music but herself.

    Original Signal - Transmitting Buzz

  • The fact is that the “silence” on Afghanistan has been most defeaning from the cultural relativist self-described “progressives”, whose actions on Afghanistan can only be described as insular and isolated, leaving women in the third world utterly alone as they struggle for the very rights that feminists here pretend to uphold.

    2009 April 21 « Unambiguously Ambidextrous

  • Literally the insular was a floating population, and derived the advantage of intercommunication.

    The Confessions of a Beachcomber

  • : We have often been called insular, and isolationist,: Aroon replied.

    Magic's Price

  • Tyre alone, that is, the insular city of that name, withstood a siege of five years.

    Outline of Universal History

  • 'That comes from what they would call your insular prejudice.

    He Knew He Was Right

  • Research shows that the reason humans struggle with emotion to find equitable solutions is pinpointed the region of the brain called the insular cortex, or insula, which is also the seat of emotional reactions.

    Yahoo! Answers: Latest Questions

Comments

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  • private but not insular

    December 2, 2010

  • 43. the state of not wishing to share your coconut tree with other castaways.

    March 18, 2009

  • 4. detached; standing alone; isolated.
    6. narrow-minded or illiberal; provincial: insular attitudes toward foreigners.

    March 18, 2009