individual

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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Agriculture Department administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, but the actual food stamp benefits are distributed by individual states. Nihal Krishan, Washington Examiner, "Food stamp rolls have declined by 7M under Trump even before reforms take effect," 8 Jan. 2020 During long individual solo spotlights for Eddie, Alex and Haggar, Anthony would join the party behind his amp. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "Close encounters of the Van Halen kind," 8 Jan. 2020 The Southwest Ohio Wrestling Coaches Association released its first individual rankings of high school wrestlers by weight class and division. Melanie Laughman, Cincinnati.com, "Who are top-ranked Greater Cincinnati individual high school wrestlers by weight class?," 8 Jan. 2020 The fundamental economic factor is the unrelenting competition for market share and the need for individual companies to grow their audience of potential customers for products ranging from designer dresses to lipstick. National Geographic, "The idea of beauty is always shifting. Today, it’s more inclusive than ever.," 7 Jan. 2020 Former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe overcame determined Republican resistance to restore voting rights to approximately 173,000 former felons, but only managed to do so by signing off on each individual case. Andrew Cockburn, Harper's magazine, "Election Bias," 6 Jan. 2020 West Des Moines police on Sunday said Franklin would face a felony hate crime charge — assault in violation of individual rights — for the Conoco incident, on top of other related charges. Danielle Gehr, USA TODAY, "What we know: Woman admits to hitting teenage girl with car because girl was 'a Mexican'," 25 Dec. 2019 This investigation of an individual case sheds light on institutional problems in our foster care and prison system that put vulnerable populations at terrible risk. Stat Staff, STAT, "We wish we’d written that: STAT staffers share their favorite stories of 2019," 24 Dec. 2019 John Zarling and Jackie Campbell have announced the alliance of their individual companies in a new venture, 615 Leverage + Strategy. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "Executive Turntable: New Heads at UMG's Eagle Rock and BMG Production Music, Moves at Republic and More," 13 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Wauwatosa Police are looking into two individuals who have tried on at least three occasions to scrap copper, bronze and brass cemetery vases in the Milwaukee area. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Police are closing in on suspects they think stole over 300 cemetery vases in southeastern Wisconsin," 23 Dec. 2019 Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot. Ganesh Sitaraman, The New Republic, "The Collapse of Neoliberalism," 23 Dec. 2019 The president has appointed two qualified individuals for our court. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "Sen. Todd Young wants to add federal judges in Indiana, but 2020 election is a hang-up," 23 Dec. 2019 But the intrusion was traced to a Chinese intelligence agency, apparently as part of their efforts to sweep up data to target significant individuals. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "The Cyberwar Decade: How an Invisible Battlefield Came of Age in the 2010s," 23 Dec. 2019 By contrast, other cemeteries may be as small as one individual’s grave or a large commercial cemetery with thousands of gravesites. Paula Allen, ExpressNews.com, "Cemetery preserves history of San Antonio area ranching families," 21 Dec. 2019 Swimmer introductions are delivered with a flair more comparable to WWE, and the athletes enter the pool deck together as teammates racing for points first, rather than individuals hoping to set a personal best time. Marilyn Payne, For The Win, "A start-up swimming league wants to revolutionize the sport for athletes and fans," 20 Dec. 2019 Miller did not face any criminal charges, nor did any other individuals at the company. Sarah Bowman, IndyStar, "113 tons of dead fish: Indiana's worst environmental disaster, 20 years later," 19 Dec. 2019 This gives individuals the opportunity to make changes such as diet and activity that can have a significant impact on lifespan—and perhaps turn back the clock. Lydia Horne, Wired, "Terrible Cats, Testing Your Biological Age, and More News," 19 Dec. 2019

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for individual

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for individual

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Individual.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/individual. Accessed 18 January 2020.

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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

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Comments on individual

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