"standing detached from others of its kind," 1740, a rendering into English of French isolé "isolated" (17c.), from Italian isolato, from Latin insulatus "made into an island," from insula "island" (see isle (n.)). English at first used the French word (isole, also isole'd, c. 1750), then after isolate (v.) became an English word, isolated became its past participle.
[F]or I think it very natural to suppose, that all the People of this isolated Country, (I ask Pardon for a foreign Word) should have one Language ... ["An Irregular Dissertation Occasioned by the Reading of Father Du Halde's Description of China," 1740]
updated on September 25, 2018