individual

adjective
in·​di·​vid·​u·​al | \ ˌin-də-ˈvij-wəl, -ˈvi-jə-wəl How to pronounce individual (audio) , -ˈvi-jəl, -ˈvi-jü-əl \

Definition of individual

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or distinctively associated with an individual an individual effort
b : intended for one person an individual serving
c : being an individual or existing as an indivisible whole
2 : having marked individuality an individual style
3 : existing as a distinct entity : separate
4 obsolete : inseparable

individual

noun

Definition of individual (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a particular being or thing as distinguished from a class, species, or collection: such 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?
2 : an indivisible entity
3 : the reference of a name or variable of the lowest logical type in a calculus

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from individual

Adjective

individually adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for individual

Adjective

special, especial, specific, particular, individual mean of or relating to one thing or class. special stresses having a quality, character, identity, or use of its own. special ingredients especial may add implications of preeminence or preference. a matter of especial importance specific implies a quality or character distinguishing a kind or a species. children with specific nutritional needs particular stresses the distinctness of something as an individual. a ballet step of particular difficulty individual implies unequivocal reference to one of a class or group. valued each individual opinion

characteristic, individual, peculiar, distinctive mean indicating a special quality or identity. characteristic applies to something that distinguishes or identifies a person or thing or class. responded with her characteristic wit individual stresses qualities that distinguish one from all other members of the same kind or class. a highly individual writing style peculiar applies to qualities possessed only by a particular individual or class or kind and stresses rarity or uniqueness. an eccentricity that is peculiar to the British distinctive indicates qualities distinguishing and uncommon and often superior or praiseworthy. a distinctive aura of grace and elegance

Examples of individual in a Sentence

Adjective What are the individual traits of the breed? The doctor carefully evaluates the individual needs of her patients. Students will receive as much individual attention as possible. She has a very individual style of writing. a pattern as individual as a fingerprint Noun They promote a philosophy that sacrifices the rights of the individual for the public welfare. They are both rather odd individuals. Are you the individual I spoke with on the telephone? She's a very talented individual. The markings on tigers are unique to each individual.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective To date, sequencing has been a public health and research activity; the latter data emanating from individual academic institutions and large-scale research consortiums. James Crawford, STAT, "To stem the pandemic, the U.S. needs a national Covid-19 genomic sequencing effort," 9 Apr. 2021 Stories of individual harassment and violence perpetrated against Asian Americans by white assailants don’t always get the same attention as the viral videos of Black aggression toward Asians. Jennifer Ho, The Conversation, "White supremacy is the root of all race-related violence in the US," 8 Apr. 2021 Our nation was built on inalienable rights and strengthened by individual differences. Fox News, "Tucker slams Arkansas governor over 'castration' veto: He did 'exactly' what Walmart scion 'wanted him to do'," 8 Apr. 2021 Using the data a subject gets back, Joffe said, can help inform that individual which foods can be eaten to turn on or off certain genes. Dr. L. Nedda Dastmalchi, ABC News, "With obesity on the rise, the best diet may be tailored to our genes, experts say," 8 Apr. 2021 Although no Catonsville High spring teams won state titles, two squads did reach the state championship game and there were some individual state champions in outdoor track during the past decade. Craig Clary, baltimoresun.com, "Catonsville High spring sports All-Decade teams," 8 Apr. 2021 But individual classrooms will still be closed when testing finds at least one positive case. Eric Umansky, ProPublica, "New York City Kills COVID Rule That Led to Repeated School Closings Despite No Evidence of Outbreaks," 8 Apr. 2021 Each request Maguire receives, however, brings to light an individual tragedy from the past. NBC News, "Northern Ireland's hidden history: Archaeologist works to identify unmarked mass graves," 8 Apr. 2021 For the first time, all four individual movie honors went to actors of color. Yvonne Villarreal, Los Angeles Times, "It wasn’t the sex scandal that drew Kate Mara to ‘A Teacher.’ It was ‘the aftermath’," 7 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But when truth is defined by the individual or group rather than a timeless standard, there is no truth. Arkansas Online, "Letters," 10 Apr. 2021 One, it’s all about the privacy of the individual, who received a vaccine and who didn’t. Fox News Staff, Fox News, "Gov. Parson says Missouri will never mandate a COVID vaccine passport," 7 Apr. 2021 The rights of an individual aren’t absolute, though. Evan Macdonald, cleveland, "Coronavirus vaccine passports beg the question: Who should know whether you’ve gotten the shot?," 3 Apr. 2021 The Washington Post reports Davis's claims from 2017 were backed up by another individual at the gathering that evening. Kerry Picket, Washington Examiner, "Lobbyist accuses New York representative of inappropriate touching," 19 Mar. 2021 The average number of people infected by one individual is represented by R0, or the basic reproduction number. USA Today, "Why more transmissible variants of COVID-19 can be as worrisome as more deadly ones," 18 Mar. 2021 Sterilizing immunity means that a pathogen will not infect, cause illness in, or be transmissible by an immune individual. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, "Is Herd Immunity Possible With A Large Vaccine-Hesitant Population?," 17 Mar. 2021 The $99 selection is curated by a different individual every time, and also includes a bag of micro-roasted coffee, perfect for the morning after wine night. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "17 Wine and Spirit Subscription Services to Try in 2021," 16 Mar. 2021 Whether the crimes were perpetrated by an individual or a group SNARL wasn’t sure. Longreads, "Don’t F**K With the Pet Detectives," 10 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'individual.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of individual

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for individual

Adjective

Medieval Latin individualis, from Latin individuus indivisible, from in- + dividuus divided, from dividere to divide

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about individual

Time Traveler for individual

Time Traveler

The first known use of individual was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for individual

Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Individual.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/individual. Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for individual

individual

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of individual

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

individual

noun

English Language Learners Definition of individual (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

individual

adjective
in·​di·​vid·​u·​al | \ ˌin-də-ˈvi-jə-wəl How to pronounce individual (audio) \

Kids Definition of individual

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : relating to a single member of a group individual needs
2 : intended for one person an individual pizza
3 : particular entry 1 sense 1, separate Each individual case is different.
4 : having a special quality : distinctive an individual style

Other Words from individual

individually adverb

individual

noun

Kids Definition of individual (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a single member of a group
2 : a single human being

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on individual

What made you want to look up individual? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!