tr.v., -landÂ·ed, -landÂ·ing, -lands.
- (Abbr. Isl. or Is. or I.) A land mass, especially one smaller than a continent, entirely surrounded by water.
- Something resembling an island, especially in being isolated or surrounded, as:
- An unattached kitchen counter providing easy access from all sides.
- A raised curbed area, often used to delineate rows of parking spaces or lanes of traffic.
- The superstructure of a ship, especially an aircraft carrier.
- Anatomy. A cluster of cells differing in structure or function from the cells constituting the surrounding tissue.
To make into or as if into an island; insulate: a secluded mansion, islanded by shrubbery and fences.
[Alteration (influenced by ISLE) of Middle English ilond, from Old English Ä«egland : Ä«g, Ä«eg + land, land.]
WORD HISTORY It may seem hard to believe, but Latin aqua, â€œwater,â€ is related to island, which originally meant â€œwatery land.â€ Aqua comes almost unchanged from Indo-European *akwÄ-, â€œwater.â€ *AkwÄ- became *ahwÅ- in Germanic by Grimm's Law and other sound changes. To this was built the adjective *ahwjÅâ€“, â€œwatery.â€ This then evolved to *awwjÅâ€“ or *auwiâ€“, which in pre-English became *Ä“ajâ€“, and finally Ä“g or Ä«eg in Old English. Island, spelled iland, first appears in Old English in King Alfred's translation of Boethius about A.D. 888; the spellings igland and ealond appear in contemporary documents. The s in island is due to a mistaken etymology, confusing the etymologically correct English iland with French isle. Isle comes ultimately from Latin Ä«nsula â€œisland,â€ a component of paenÄ«nsula, â€œalmost-island,â€ whence our peninsula.