Isolation means completely alone, like the stranded skiers who were in total isolation after an avalanche stranded them at the top of a mountain.

People who live in isolation are completely cut off from the rest of the world, like the hermit who lives in a lonely mountain cabin because no one understands his desire to collect thimbles. A really contagious illness can land patients in isolation at their local hospital, kept separate from the rest of the hospital so they don't share their disease with the other patients. A country can exist in isolation, left alone because other nations don't agree with its policies.

Definitions of isolation
  1. noun
    the act of isolating something; setting something apart from others
    synonyms: closing off
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    isolation to prevent the spread of infectious disease
    type of:
    the social act of separating or parting company
  2. noun
    a state of separation between persons or groups
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    the state or situation of being alone
    purdah, solitude
    a state of social isolation
    loneliness, solitariness
    the state of being alone in solitary isolation
    enforced isolation of patients suffering from a contagious disease in order to prevent the spread of disease
    detachment, insularism, insularity, insulation
    the state of being isolated or detached
    alienation, estrangement
    separation resulting from hostility
    anomie, anomy
    personal state of isolation and anxiety resulting from a lack of social control and regulation
    concealment, privacy, privateness, secrecy
    the condition of being concealed or hidden
    covertness, hiddenness
    the state of being covert and hidden
    the chest considered as the place where secret thoughts are kept
    the state of being secret
    the state of being hidden
    type of:
    the state of lacking unity
  3. noun
    a country's withdrawal from international politics
    “he opposed a policy of American isolation
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    type of:
    non-engagement, non-involvement, nonparticipation
    withdrawing from the activities of a group
  4. noun
    a feeling of being disliked and alone
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    type of:
    alienation, disaffection, estrangement
    the feeling of being alienated from other people
  5. noun
    (psychiatry) a defense mechanism in which memory of an unacceptable act or impulse is separated from the emotion originally associated with it
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    type of:
    defence, defence mechanism, defence reaction, defense, defense mechanism, defense reaction
    (psychiatry) an unconscious process that tries to reduce the anxiety associated with instinctive desires
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