1. of or relating to an island or islands: insular possessions.
  2. dwelling or situated on an island.
  3. forming an island: insular rocks.
  4. detached; standing alone; isolated.
  5. of, relating to, or characteristic of islanders.
  6. narrow-minded or illiberal; provincial: insular attitudes toward foreigners.
  7. Pathology. occurring in or characterized by one or more isolated spots, patches, or the like.
  8. Anatomy. pertaining to an island of cells or tissue, as the islets of Langerhans.


  1. an inhabitant of an island; islander.


  1. of, relating to, or resembling an island
  2. remote, detached, or aloof
  3. illiberal or narrow-minded
  4. isolated or separated

1610s, “of or pertaining to an island,” from Late Latin insularis, from Latin insula “island” (see isle). Metaphoric sense “narrow, prejudiced” is 1775, from notion of being cut off from intercourse with other nations, especially with reference to the situation of Great Britain. Earlier adjective in the literal sense was insulan (mid-15c.), from Latin insulanus.


  1. Of or being an isolated tissue or island of tissue.

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