Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.
1. To separate, to set apart from others; that which is so treated.
2. To free of chemical contaminants.
3. In psychoanalysis, to separate ideas, experiences, or memories from the affects pertaining to them.
4. In group psychotherapy, a patient to whom others in the group do not respond.
5. Viable organisms separated on a single occasion from a sample taken from a host or culture system.
6. A population that for geographic, linguistic, cultural, social, religious, or other reasons is subject to little or no gene flow. Synonym(s): genetic isolate
[It. isolare; Mediev. L. insulo, pp. -atus, to insulate, fr. L. insula, island]
a group of individuals that are genetically separated by geographic, racial, social, cultural, or other barriers that prevent them from interbreeding with those outside the group. Depending on the size of the group and the amount of inbreeding that occurs, genetic isolates may show an increased incidence of otherwise rare inherited defects. See also deme.