individual

adjective
in·di·vid·u·al | \ ˌin-də-ˈvij-wəl , -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

Kelly Cunningham, San Diego Institute for Economic Research NO: The market economy produces what each individual/region/country is best at, relatively more efficient in, and exchanges that production for goods and services of others. Phillip Molnar, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Can the U.S. economy withstand a trade war?," 13 July 2018 In Belgium, there were doubts about Roberto Martinez's ability to transfer the country's individual talent into a collective force. Jerome Pugmire, baltimoresun.com, "France vs. Belgium: What you need to know for Tuesday's World Cup semifinal," 9 July 2018 Kubat, Finlay & Rose Detroit audiences had already been spellbound by the individual vocal talents of Audra Kubat, Tamara Finlay and Emily Rose before the three women formed this band two years ago. Jeff Milo, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit music: Idiot Kids at Outer Limits, Nick Speed at the Old Miami," 5 July 2018 The advice Doughtie shared challenged attendees to recognize the individual talents that make them assets to their companies, and figure out how to leverage those qualities to become more effective leaders, personally and professionally. Danielle Page, USA TODAY, "Empowering advice from today’s top women leaders at the 2018 KPMG Women's Leadership Summit," 2 July 2018 The European Council member states, or individual countries, must collect data on antibiotic sales and usage for each animal species. Ed Silverman, STAT, "European Parliament restricts antibiotic use in food-producing livestock," 20 June 2018 Often, individual countries to set their own standards. National Geographic, "Marine Protected Areas Are Important. But Are They Working?," 16 June 2018 Handcrafted and presented in individual leather cases, the combs are an Instagram-worthy addition to any vanity. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Byredo’s New Keepsake Combs Pay Tribute to Africa’s Beloved Queens," 13 July 2018 The communities that Tyler, now 76, profiles share an indefinable quality that might be described as their Bawlamer-ness; yet each also is strikingly individual and described in meticulous detail. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Anne Tyler's latest novel evokes Hamilton. Here are possible real-life stand-ins for locations in 'Clock Dance'," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Instead, the indictment will be handed off to the Justice Department’s National Security Division and its Assistant Attorney General John Demers to await a future prosecution on the slim chance any of the individuals wind up into US custody. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "Indicting 12 Russian Hackers Could Be Mueller's Biggest Move Yet," 13 July 2018 In other words the tests were drawn up without input from the very individuals that know the platform best and rely on it in combat, and were conceived by those who would rather see the A-10 go away. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Long Awaited A-10 vs.-F-35 Flyoff Is Off to a Sketchy Start," 11 July 2018 The names of these individuals were redacted, but email addresses show eight had relations with the Arrigo Automotive Group, a car dealership in the West Palm Beach area. Renae Reints, Fortune, "Members of Trump's Exclusive Clubs May Have Toured Air Force One," 9 July 2018 So far, most of the cases filed by the Trump administration have gone after people who entered the country illegally, but the pursuit of individuals for other crimes, like Borgono's, are also picking up. Adiel Kaplan, miamiherald, "Miami grandma targeted as U.S. takes aim at naturalized immigrants with prior offenses," 9 July 2018 Unexpectedly, the subsequent interactions between PPD and the group resulted in the arrest of one of the individuals involved. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Police Arrested a Black Teen Who Was Reportedly Selling Water Outside the Philadelphia Zoo," 7 July 2018 The expectation was one out of every four hundred individuals is actually a match. Danielle Barker, ajc, "Army veteran meets the little girl he saved with his bone marrow donation," 6 July 2018 Every individual has the power to change the world. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What July's Virgo Horoscope Means for You," 29 June 2018 For example, Mexican wolves—a subspecies of gray wolves that once lived in Mexico and the American Southwest—bounced back after declining to a population of only seven individuals, without causing an outbreak of genetic disease. Robbie George, National Geographic, "Rule to Allow Hunting Could Doom Rare Red Wolves," 29 June 2018

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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Phrases Related to individual

matter of (individual) conscience

Statistics for individual

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for individual

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

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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 \

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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