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

But for a certain individual out on the fringes, a man who feels threatened and whose fear has been stoked, reaching for the boom-boom stick may be like reaching for the security blanket. Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, "Why some white men go ‘bang’," 5 Aug. 2019 Congress can help by passing language saying that the FDA doesn't need to issue a broad regulation on CBD and can instead rely on petitions filed by individual, prospective producers. Scott Gottlieb, chicagotribune.com, "Former FDA commissioner: CBD craze is getting out of hand," 2 Aug. 2019 Attempts to revive the individual were unsuccessful. Fox News, "Salvadoran man dies in Customs and Border Protection custody: report," 2 Aug. 2019 In a ransomware attack, hackers infect an individual or organization’s computer systems with malware and essentially hold the digital information on the system hostage until a ransom is paid, often in untraceable cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin. Jeannette Hinkle, azcentral, "How 4 IT technicians saved an Arizona hospital from hacker ransomware," 30 July 2019 With credit monitoring, any changes to credit will be reported to the individual, for example if an account is opened under the individual’s name. Jasmine Aguilera, Time, "Worried About the Capital One Data Breach? Do These 4 Things to Make Sure Your Information Is Secure," 30 July 2019 Almost all of them are killed; the lone surviving individual or squad is the champion. Kevin Draper, New York Times, "Slurp Juice, Zip Lines and Teenagers: Welcome to the Fortnite World Cup," 28 July 2019 These sorts of challenges increased costly volunteer turnover and decreased the likelihood of individual students making a lasting impact. Jennifer A. Jones, The Conversation, "How college towns could benefit more from throngs of student volunteers," 25 July 2019 For full-time benefited staff, the City makes a financial contribution for all coverage options (individual, husband/wife, parent/child, and family). Catalina Righter, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Westminster mayor, council divided on benefits eligibility," 24 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The unidentified individual is considered armed and dangerous. Fox News, "Hunt for the 'Tie-dyed bandit': FBI offering $10,000 reward for information on suspected bank robber," 8 Aug. 2019 When the issue around this horse was raised, the individual immediately divested himself of any interest in that horse. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, "Racing! More talk about conflicts," 7 Aug. 2019 Of course, Veal isn’t the only individual behind Lawrence’s success. Ross Dellenger, SI.com, "All Grown Up: Trevor Lawrence Leads a New Wave of QBs Ready-Made for Prime Time," 7 Aug. 2019 While most of the sculptures in the city’s collection that honor individuals recognize white men, the sculpture of Dr. Maya Angelou will redress this gender imbalance by not only honoring a woman, but a woman of color. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "San Francisco Is Getting a Monument to Maya Angelou," 7 Aug. 2019 Stimulation might allow the individuals to participate more fully in rehabilitation, strengthening muscle and nerve connections through exercise. Cassandra Willyard, Scientific American, "How a Revolutionary Technique Got People with Spinal-Cord Injuries Back on Their Feet," 7 Aug. 2019 But the people who actually make these games choose instead to follow facts, which continue to find no credible evidence suggesting this entertainment medium leads individuals to commit mass shootings. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Trump blames videogames for mass shootings — but the facts say otherwise," 7 Aug. 2019 So many individuals in the city and the surrounding areas depend on their car or cars for travel. Peter Dawson, Houston Chronicle, "Best independent auto repair shops in Houston Area, according to Yelp!," 6 Aug. 2019 Every country has extremists and other hateful individuals. German Lopez, Vox, "Guns are the problem," 5 Aug. 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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Statistics for individual

Last Updated

9 Aug 2019

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 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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