Word of the Week (WOW) – Insular


Word of the Week (WOW) is a weekly meme created by Heena Rathore P. It’s a fun way to improve vocabulary by learning new words every week.

To participate, simply do a post with your word and leave the link as a comment on Heena’s WOW post for this week (above link). It’s a nice post to do and will give you some practice with a dictionary, of which there are several online. Illustrations are by no means necessary, but it’s up to you.

Here is my WOW for this week:


 Word: Insular

Pronunciation: In-su-lar (in-suh-ler)

Part of Speech: Adjective

Noun: insularism; insularity

Adverb: insularity


1. Of, relating to, or constituting an island


2. Dwelling or situated on an island > insular residents

3. Characteristic of an island people, especially having a narrow provincial viewpoint

4. Isolated or separated

5. Illiberal or narrow minded

A_well-to-do_mother_resistant_to_her_daughter's_doctor_using_Wellcome_V0011390 (1)
A well-to-do mother, resistant to her daughter’s doctor using vaccine from their neighbour’s child. It illustrates the narrow-mindedness of the petty, provincial middle classes. Source: Wikimedia Commons: wellcomeimages.org

6. (Pathology) Occurring in or characterized by one or more isolated spots or patches



illiberal, narrow, narrow-minded, parochial, petty, provincial, picayune, sectarian,  small, small-minded, prejudiced, blinkered


broad-minded, cosmopolitan, liberal, open, open-minded, receptive, tolerant

Word Origin:  

17th Century from late Latin insulāris, from Latin insula, meaning island or isle

Use in a sentence: 

1. Their new neighbourhood was an insular community that was not receptive to new ideas, especially from outsiders.

2. Jane hated the insular world of her boarding school.

Herlufsholm Boarding School, in Naestved, Denmark. Wikimedia Commons. Attribution: Martin Joergensen

3. As a government spy, Justin was insular by nature and interacted on a social level with very few people.


4. For a best-selling author, he seemed much too insular the deal with the scrutiny given to people of renown.


If you’d like to check out more interesting words then visit Heena’s page:

Word Treasure

18 thoughts on “Word of the Week (WOW) – Insular

    1. Well, thank you, Ann! Being insular never made anyone any new friends. I’ve found so many lovely, non-insular people on WP, yourself being amongst them! Thank you for the nice comment. 🙂

    1. You must be the least insular person I know, Joycelin! I think the term applies more to small communities, on islands or not. Perhaps the meaning’s a little outdated now, too, with the way people move about the globe and interact with each other. It’s just that the word origininates from the Latin word for island. …
      I’d better shut up now or I’ll be writing another book! Thank you for getting my little grey cells working! 🙂

    1. Yes, I like the word, too. It’s useful for describing narrow-minded characters. For selecting a word each week I sometimes just do one from my head, otherwise I flick thorough a dictionary (a print one). I’m going through the alphabet with the words, so I’ll be thinking of words beginning with J next week. So it’s not as though have to go through the whole dictionary! When I’ve decided on a word, I go onto various Online Dictionary sites to fill out the word origin, synonyms and so on. Finally I like to add a few pictures to illustrate the word.
      That was a bit long … Sorry,I got carried away! It’s a great challenge to do because I love words. Thank you for commenting again, Khloe. I really appreciate it. 🙂

      1. You’re welcome Millie 🙂 It’s all good to me. I love to learn new word to enrich my knowledge especially English is not my mother language and I find it very useful and very nice to know how you select the word each week. Keep it up sweetie! 😉

    1. If you’re referring to them being narrow or small-minded, it would suit them well. The idea of insular people as islanders (and I can include the British in this) the word usually means more about them being stuck in their old, traditional ways and refusing to be influenced by outsiders. You could apply that to individuals, too, of course – say, if your cousin was stuck in his ways and not moving along with the times, or doesn’t like to mix with people. Thanks for liking the word, Heena. 🙂

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