• (British, America) IPA: /ˈaɪ̯lənd/

island (plural islands)

  1. A contiguous area of land, smaller than a continent, totally surrounded by water.
    • 1624, John Donne, “17. Meditation”, in Deuotions upon Emergent Occasions, and Seuerall Steps in My Sicknes: […], London: Printed by A[ugustine] M[atthews] for Thomas Iones, OCLC 55189476 ↗; republished as Geoffrey Keynes, John Sparrow, editor, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions: […], Cambridge: At the University Press, 1923, OCLC 459265555 ↗, lines 2–3, page 98 ↗:
      No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; {{...}
  2. An entity surrounded by other entities that are very different from itself.
    an island of tranquility (a calm place surrounded by a noisy environment)
    an island of colors on a butterfly's wing
    • 1939, Deseret News, October 27 1939, Roosevelt Reaffirms American Neutrality
      King Leopold, speaking in fluent English during his six minute broadcast, said Belgium stood side by side with Holland "an Island of peace in the interests of all"
  3. A superstructure on an aircraft carrier's deck.
  4. A traffic island.
    the island in the middle of a roundabout
  5. (government) An unincorporated area wholly surrounded by one or more incorporated areas.
  6. (grammar) A phrase from which a wh-word cannot be extracted without yielding invalid grammar.
  • (land surrounded by water) ait, holm
  • (an entity surrounded by other very different entities) oasis
Related terms Translations Translations
  • French: île
  • Italian: isola
  • Portuguese: ilha
  • Russian: о́стров

island (islands, present participle islanding; past and past participle islanded)

  1. (transitive) To surround with water; make into an island.
    • 1933, Harriet Monroe, Poetry: Volume 42
      We paused at little river cities along the way and walked upon their bushy dikes, and heard tales of overflows in flood seasons, when four feet or more of water islanded the houses.
  2. (transitive) To set, dot (as if) with islands.
  3. (transitive) To isolate.
    • A. E. Housman, A Shropshire Lad, XXVII, lines 1-2
      High the vanes of Shrewsbury gleam
      Islanded in Severn stream.
Synonyms Translations
  • Italian: trasformare in un isola
  • Portuguese: ilhar
  • Russian: покрыва́ть
  • Italian: isolare
  • Portuguese: isolar
  • Russian: изоли́ровать

Proper noun
  1. (in New York City) Long Island (in New York State)
  2. (in British Columbia) Vancouver Island
    • 2008, "[ Grizzlies at home on the Island]", Times Colonist, 8 December 2008:
      A grizzly was photographed at Rugged Point near Kyuquot on the northwest coast of the Island in May, close to the time bears emerge from their dens, suggesting it had successfully hibernated on the Island.
    • 2010, Beau Simpson, "One 'Grape escape' on Vancouver Island ↗", Surrey Now, 12 October 2010:
      And so, my lovely girlfriend Kari and I headed to the Island for a weekend of wines and dines.
    • 2011, Renee Andor, "His body hurts, but Vancouver Island circumnavigation record belongs to Angus ↗", Comox Valley Record, 7 July 2011:
      Angus felt "fantastic" to have made it around the Island and beaten the record.
  3. (UK, colloquial) HM Prison Parkhurst, a prison on the Isle of Wight.

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