isolate

isolate, segregate, seclude, insulate, sequester are comparable when they mean to separate from the usual or natural environment, but they are rarely interchangeable because their other and differentiating implications are often stressed.
Isolate implies a detachment of someone or something from his or its usual environment so that he or it will not affect or be affected by others. The word is sufficiently general that it may be employed in reference either to an actual separation or to a separation that is merely virtual, arbitrary, or speculative
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several villages were isolated by the storm

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find an isolated spot in which to live

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isolate scarlet fever patients

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under present conditions no country can remain isolated

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he was singularly isolated, untouched by the interest or the gossip or the knowledge of the life about him— Deland

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we must remember that religion, like some chemical substance, is never found pure, and it is not at all easy to isolate it in order to learn its properties— Inge

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Segregate also applies to both persons and things and usually refers to them as a group separated from the mass or main body ; its secondary implication is often, therefore, a collection in one place, one class, or one mass and it may in addition imply a holding incommunicado
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segregate lepers from the rest of the population

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segregate hardened criminals from first offenders in prisons

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that innate instinct which ever aimed at uniting, not segregating groups of Christians— D. P. Hughes

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Seclude implies a removal or withdrawal from external influences; it is therefore often used reflexively or at least in such a way as to imply acceptance of the protection afforded by such removal or withdrawal
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secluded in their childhood from all evil influences

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so she sat hard and close at her writing table from half past nine to twelve every morning, secluded and defended from all the world— H. G. Wells

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if we are to get the most and the best out of life, we must not seclude ourselves from these things— Benson

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Insulate means to isolate, especially by something which serves as a barrier to the escape of what is within or the entrance of what is without. Consequently it implies retention of some power in a condition approaching fullness or purity
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none of us can touch his later work . . ., it is . . . too insulated to allow an easy communication of its powers— Day Lewis

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one touch of Comedy would destroy any tragedy (unless . . ., as is the case with Shakespeare, the comic scenes were kept insulated from instead of integrated with the others)— Krutch

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Insulate is employed technically to imply the use of something to cut off free passage (as of electricity or heat or sound)
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electric wires should be insulated with a nonconducting substance

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the house was insulated by interlining the walls with rock wool

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Basically sequester implies a setting apart (as from others or for a particular purpose) and in itself, as apart from context, ordinarily conveys no more than this
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the period when all copper was sequestered for war use— Science

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a confederate who had boarded the train at a previous stop to hold down the seats we were to occupy. When the train pulled in we rushed it in valiant formation and dropped panting in our nobly sequestered seats— Cassidy

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Colored by context it may take the place of isolate
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no crusading idealist in history ever thought it right to sequester himself in an estate comprising more than 300,000 acres with exclusive possession of fifty miles of California shore— Thomas

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or of segregate
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most schools . . . have sequestered the slow, average and quick students of both races and let each group progress at its own pace—7. B. Martin

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or of seclude
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this typical Connecticut hill town, sequestered from the rush of modern traffic, retains much of its old- time charm— Amer. Guide Series: Conn.

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Sometimes, however, it may imply a setting apart by taking into one's possession
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the divorced wife of painter André Derain, . . . had sequestered Derain's studio— Time

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or by confiscating
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the police continued to uncover and sequester large amounts of arms and ammunition— Woolbert

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In legal use sequester implies a separation, usually for the time being, of property or income from the owner until some claim or obligation has been satisfied
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the bishop sequestered the profits of the vacant benefice for use by the next incumbent

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sequester a debtor's estate

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Analogous words: *detach, disengage, abstract: *separate, part, sever, sunder
Contrasted words: associate, relate, unite, connect, link, *join

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • isolate — i‧so‧late [ˈaɪsəleɪt] verb [transitive] 1. to prevent a country or company from getting support or business from other countries or companies, so that it becomes weaker: • Efforts to isolate North Korea financially through targeted measures… …   Financial and business terms

  • Isolate — may refer to:* Isolate (album), the second full length studio album by Circus Maximus * Isolate (computation), an isolated computation in the Java Application Isolation API * Isolate (monkey), an isolated monkey in the pit of despair * Isolate… …   Wikipedia

  • Isolate — I so*late ([imac] s[ o]*l[=a]t or [imac]s [ o]*l[=a]t; 277), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Isolated} ([imac] s[ o]*l[=a] t[e^]d); p. pr. & vb. n. {Isolating} ([imac] s[ o]*l[=a] t[i^]ng).] [It. isolato, p. p. of isolare to isolate, fr. isola island, L.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Isolate — Records ist ein Plattenlabel für Elektronische Musik mit Sitz in Berkeley, Kalifornien. Es wurde 1995 von Wai Cheng gegründet. Isolate hat ein Sublabel namens Dyslexic Response, das sich auf das Musikgenre Noise konzentriert. Zu den bekanntesten… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Isolate — I so*late ([imac] s[ o]*l[asl]t or [imac]s [ o]*l[=a]t ), n. Something that has been isolated; as, an isolate of a powerful antibiotic from a tropical plant; an isolate of tuberculosis bacillus from an infected patient. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • isolate — (v.) by 1786, a new formation from ISOLATED (Cf. isolated) (q.v.). The translation of this work is well performed, excepting that fault from which few translations are wholly exempt, and which is daily tending to corrupt our language, the… …   Etymology dictionary

  • isolate — [ī′sə lāt΄; ] for n., usually [, ī səlitlit] vt. isolated, isolating [back form. < isolated < It isolato, pp. of isolare, to isolate < isola < L insula, island: see ISLE] 1. to set apart from others; place alone 2. Chem. to separate… …   English World dictionary

  • isolate — I verb banish, blacklist, confine, cut off, detach, disconnect, disengage, disjoin, dislocate, dissever, dissociate, disunite, enisle, exclude, excommunicate, exile, insulate, island, keep apart, keep from contact with others, keep in solitude,… …   Law dictionary

  • isolate — [v] cut off, set apart abstract, block off, close off, confine, detach, disconnect, disengage, divide, divorce, insulate, island, keep apart, part, quarantine, remove, seclude, segregate, separate, sequester, sever, sunder; concepts 188,201 Ant.… …   New thesaurus

  • isolate — ► VERB 1) place apart or alone; cut off. 2) Chemistry & Biology obtain or extract (a compound, micro organism, etc.) in a pure form. 3) cut off the electrical or other connection to (something). ► NOUN ▪ a person or thing that has become isolated …   English terms dictionary

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