adjective in·di·vid·u·al \ˌin-də-ˈvij-wəl, -ˈvi-jə-wəl, -ˈvi-jəl, -ˈvi-jü-əl\

: of, relating to, or existing as just one member or part of a larger group

: having a special and unusual quality that is easily seen

: intended or designed for one person

Full Definition of INDIVIDUAL

obsolete :  inseparable
a :  of, relating to, or distinctively associated with an individual <an individual effort>
b :  being an individual or existing as an indivisible whole
c :  intended for one person <an individual serving>
:  existing as a distinct entity :  separate
:  having marked individuality <an individual style>
in·di·vid·u·al·ly adverb

Examples of INDIVIDUAL

  1. What are the individual traits of the breed?
  2. The doctor carefully evaluates the individual needs of her patients.
  3. Students will receive as much individual attention as possible.
  4. She has a very individual style of writing.
  5. a pattern as individual as a fingerprint


Medieval Latin individualis, from Latin individuus indivisible, from in- + dividuus divided, from dividere to divide
First Known Use: 15th century



: a single person : a person who is considered separate from the rest of a group

: a particular person

: a single member or part of a group

Full Definition of INDIVIDUAL

a :  a particular being or thing as distinguished from a class, species, or collection: as (1) :  a single human being as contrasted with a social group or institution <a teacher who works with individuals> (2) :  a single organism as distinguished from a group
b :  a particular person <are you the individual I spoke with on the telephone?>
:  an indivisible entity
:  the reference of a name or variable of the lowest logical type in a calculus

Examples of INDIVIDUAL

  1. They promote a philosophy that sacrifices the rights of the individual for the public welfare.
  2. They are both rather odd individuals.
  3. Are you the individual I spoke with on the telephone?
  4. She's a very talented individual.
  5. The markings on tigers are unique to each individual.

First Known Use of INDIVIDUAL

May 23, 2015
debouch Hear it
to emerge or cause to emerge
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears