Definition of islet in English:



  • 1A small island.

    • ‘The ferry carrying more than 500 passengers sank after hitting a rocky islet, killing at least 64 people.’
    • ‘Besides this, there are several small islands or islets surrounding Corinth: Kechries, Lechaio, Isthmia, Ancient Corinth, and Examilia.’
    • ‘The most charming of the islets is probably the Fairy Island in the center, which boasts a scenic panorama that voyagers can enjoy from the slow-moving boat.’
    • ‘The palm-fringed emerald islets are surrounded by vast expanses of water.’
    • ‘An atoll usually consists of a string of closely spaced coral islets separated by narrow channels of water.’
    • ‘A huge oil spill was discovered in the waters surrounding Pramuka and Panggang islets last week.’
    • ‘North Korea has maintained that the islets belong to the Korean people.’
    • ‘Buffumville Lake surrounds this white-pine-forested islet, which is equipped only with a picnic table, a fire pit and an outhouse.’
    • ‘They nest on islands in Grays Harbor and on rocky islets along the outer coast.’
    • ‘Singapore, the island city, has 63 islets around it.’
    • ‘Plans to build a house on an uninhabited islet off the south of Sanday were turned down by islands' councillors on Thursday morning.’
    • ‘In the distance is a very small islet with a tree on it.’
    • ‘The mainland of Mauritius is surrounded by a number of islets, some of which are close to the coast and others far away.’
    • ‘Two days later we are building a small driftwood fire on a tiny islet in the Barrier Islands a mile out into the open North Pacific.’
    • ‘The group of uninhabited islets about 180 km north of Taiwan are claimed by Taiwan, China and Japan.’
    • ‘These include the idyllic Cairns of Coll, a string of rocky islets some distance from the island of the same name.’
    • ‘From the air the tiny islets of Funafuti atoll appear as a broken pearl necklace scattered on the blue throat of the tropical sea.’
    • ‘He said the idea of growing coral around the islets is a new one.’
    • ‘Central Stockholm is itself a maze of islands; the Parliament building has an islet of its own.’
    • ‘Vicious rocks surrounded the tiny islet, and a beached ship lay on its side in the deep sands, torn by wave and water.’
  • 2Anatomy
    A portion of tissue structurally distinct from surrounding tissues.

    • ‘One possible treatment for insulin dependent diabetes mellitus in humans would be to transplant pancreatic islets.’
    • ‘The tissue sections and the isolated islets of rats and monkeys were stained with haematoxylin.’
    • ‘If you obtain this tissue at a very defined point in time, then you can see development into islets.’
    • ‘Though the arrangement was similar, isolated islets showed reduction in the staining of all the three cell types.’
    • ‘The center brings together Emory University's transplantation programs in heart, lung, liver, kidney, pancreas and islet.’
    1. 2.1
      • ‘Specific tests were used to identify rat and monkey islets after isolation.’
      • ‘If untreated the skin gets reddish brown colored and the pancreatic islets, that make insulin, fail so it is called bronze diabetes.’
      • ‘Insulin-producing beta cells exist in spherical clusters, called islets, in the pancreas.’
      • ‘Finally, in some transplanted patients, donor islets function well initially, but in time diabetes recurs.’
      • ‘It resides in masses of tissue in the pancreas called islets.’


Mid 16th century: from Old French, diminutive of isle (see isle).