9 Commonly Confused Pairs_8



Insolate and insulate are the hottest words on this maddening list. Insolate is derived from the Latin word insolare meaning "to place in the sun." In English the word refers to, you guessed it, an exposure to the sun's rays. Insulate involves using various materials to prevent the leakage of heat. Insolate to get warm and insulate to stay warm!


  (ĭn′sō-lāt′, ĭn-sō′-)
tr.v. in·so·lat·edin·so·lat·ingin·so·lates
To expose to sunlight.

[Latin īnsōlāre, īnsōlāt- : in-in; see sōl in Indo-European roots.]


1. (tr) to expose to sunlight, as for bleaching
[C17: from Latin insōlāre to place in the sun, from in-² + sōl sun]



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  (ĭn′sə-lāt′, ĭns′yə-)
tr.v. in·su·lat·edin·su·lat·ingin·su·lates
1. To prevent the passage of heat, electricity, or sound into or out of, especially by surrounding or covering with a nonconducting material: insulate an attic.
2. To cause to be in a detached or isolated position. See Synonyms at isolate.

[Latin īnsulaisland + -ate.]


vb (tr)
1. (General Physics) to prevent or reduce the transmission of electricity, heat, or sound to or from (a body, device, or region) by surrounding with a nonconducting material
2. to isolate or detach
[C16: from Late Latin insulātus: made into an island]


 (ˈɪn səˌleɪt, ˈɪns yə-) 

v.t. -lat•ed, -lat•ing.
1. to cover, line, or separate with a material that prevents or reduces the passage, transfer, or leakage of heat, electricity, or sound.
2. to place in an isolated or protected situation.
[1530–40; < Latin insulātus made into an island. See insular-ate1]
in′su•la`tive, adj.


To cover or surround with a material that prevents the loss or transfer of heat, electricity, or sound: We insulated our attic to keep out the cold.

insulation noun
insulator noun


Past participle: insulated
Gerund: insulating