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 That piece of the effort is being left to individual states. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, "The U.S. has plan to vaccinate nursing home residents. Experts fear it won't work.," 20 Nov. 2020 But even once a vaccine is authorized and ready for distribution, individual states will have a lot of work ahead of them. Emily Brindley, courant.com, "A COVID-19 vaccine is possibly weeks away, but Connecticut doesn’t have enough money to properly plan, state official says," 19 Nov. 2020 Teams are expected to begin reporting to training camps on Dec. 1 for individual workouts. Scott Cacciola, New York Times, "Anthony Edwards Drafted No. 1 by the Minnesota Timberwolves," 18 Nov. 2020 Pitino said the Gophers were out of practice for five days before some players resumed individual workouts. Marcus Fuller, Star Tribune, "Richard Pitino remains cautious with Gophers' opener one week from Wednesday," 17 Nov. 2020 Haworth said practices since Oct. 26 have consisted of individual workouts and conditioning, with no three-on-three or five-on-five drills. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "Basketball coaches say they expect KHSAA to vote Wednesday in favor of delaying season," 17 Nov. 2020 DraftKings and FanDuel are the clear leaders in the gambling industry, which has been growing at a rapid clip since the US Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that individual states could legalize sports betting. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "It's the 'golden age' of sports betting," 13 Nov. 2020 There would be no need for recounts or court challenges in individual states unless the national popular vote was extraordinarily close. Bruce Bartlett, The New Republic, "The Never-Ending Crisis of the Electoral College," 12 Nov. 2020 Reich’s group at UMass from 36 independent models, for the country as a whole and for individual states. Elizabeth Cooney, STAT, "With a meteoric rise in deaths, talk of waves is misguided, say Covid-19 modelers," 12 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In one of the 154 cases that ICE announced Thursday, an individual who was ordered to leave the U.S. in 1997 was still in the country 23 years later, Pham said. Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, "ICE arrests 154 illegal immigrants 'who broke promise' to self-deport," 19 Nov. 2020 The video did not portray the city in a positive light and the individual was disruptive while the video was being made. Carrie Napoleon, chicagotribune.com, "Gary City Hall cellphone ban quickly reversed: ‘It was not directed from the administration,’ mayor says," 19 Nov. 2020 If someone tests positive for COVID-19 in a household, that individual will be responsible for notifying their household contacts, which could include family members or roommates. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wauwatosa is allocating nearly $1 million for COVID-19 contact tracing in 2021," 18 Nov. 2020 If the individual were to go missing, or is found, this information would be essential for first responders. cleveland, "Woman with dementia goes missing: Bay Village Police Blotter," 13 Nov. 2020 The individualism upon which America was founded is one of existential equality, the premise that every individual is sacrosanct and none born higher than another as far as the creator is concerned. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Culture feedback: From Dave Chappelle to Alex Trebek, a week of post-election highs and lows," 12 Nov. 2020 Even if an individual is not personally at high risk of serious illness, their actions affect the lives and livelihoods of the entire community. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘Pandemic stamina’ is the answer to ‘pandemic fatigue’ and the expected winter COVID-19 surge," 8 Nov. 2020 Police suspected an ex-boyfriend in the murder, but Turner told the paper that individual was not one of the suspects arrested. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "2 arrests made in case of Michigan woman bound with Christmas lights and shot to death," 6 Nov. 2020 For instance, an examiner may ask whether an individual with a developmental disability is able to turn on the shower. State Of Denial, ProPublica, "People with Developmental Disabilities Were Promised Help. Instead, They Face Delays and Denials.," 6 Nov. 2020

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

24 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Individual.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/individual. Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for individual

individual

adjective
How to pronounce individual (audio)

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

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!