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

Both individual and corporate memberships are available for the upcoming season. Al.com Staff, al, "Clark, Morrow are Montgomey QB Club players of week," 30 Aug. 2019 The initiative aims to collect health data from 1 million Americans in an effort to understand the genetic, environmental, and lifestyle effects on individual well-being, and to spur personalized drug development and treatment. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Genetic Counseling for a Million Person Study: Brainstorm Health," 21 Aug. 2019 Authorities have not identified that individual, who was moved out of the cell Aug 9. Devlin Barrett, sun-sentinel.com, "At least eight jail officials knew Jeffrey Epstein was not to be left alone in cell," 21 Aug. 2019 The increasing levels of red ink stem from a steep falloff in federal revenue after Mr. Trump’s 2017 tax cuts, which lowered individual and corporate tax rates, resulting in far fewer tax dollars flowing to the Treasury Department. Emily Cochrane, New York Times, "Budget Deficit on Path to Surpass $1 Trillion Under Trump," 21 Aug. 2019 Still, this does not mean that a positive association will hold at the local or individual level or that there is a causal link. Alberto Cairo, Scientific American, "Graphics That Seem Clear Can Easily Be Misread," 21 Aug. 2019 Sponsor, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify and/or exclude any individual or Entry from the Promotion for any reason or no reason at all. CNN, "TUMS Ultimate Tailgate Sweepstakes Rules," 19 Aug. 2019 New to this year’s Guardian Mile is a First Responders Division in a community race, with individual and team awards. Mike Peticca, cleveland.com, "Guardian Mile returns with sub-4 milers and growing field," 16 Aug. 2019 Prosecutors work for the government to file a lawsuit, or charge, against an individual or corporation accused of violating the law. Kate Knight, Houston Chronicle, "A legal education: What do attorneys do?," 15 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The company has also partnered with New Directions Behavioral Health, to offer emotional support to individuals and loved ones affected by Hurricane Dorian. Naseem S. Miller, orlandosentinel.com, "Hurricane Dorian: List of free telemedicine services for Floridians," 4 Sep. 2019 Since the officers hit the streets in mid-July, the two-person team has offered services to more than 200 homeless individuals, Walters said. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Homeless outreach team hits the streets in National City," 4 Sep. 2019 Social trust matters to belief when individuals treat some sources of evidence as more reliable than others. Scientific American, "How Misinformation Spreads—and Why We Trust It," 3 Sep. 2019 The feeding frenzy is not confined to rich individuals. New York Times, "How a Trump Tax Break to Help Poor Communities Became a Windfall for the Rich," 31 Aug. 2019 Then, cannabis can deliver anti-anxiety and anti-depressant properties to individuals. Nicole Skrobin, chicagotribune.com, "Cannabis: Optimal treatment method for post-concussion syndrome symptoms," 30 Aug. 2019 The initiative is focused on providing relief, medical aid, and education to individuals in need, as well as promoting harmony and respect amongst children of diverse backgrounds. Taylor Mims, Billboard, "Yusuf/Cat Stevens Signs With UTA For All Areas," 27 Aug. 2019 The course is open to individuals who live, work, or volunteer within the communities served by Santa Clara County Fire Department, including Campbell. Anne Gelhaus, The Mercury News, "Campbell community briefs for the week of Aug. 23," 23 Aug. 2019 According to court documents, in October 2017, Barbiyeru sent emails to several individuals and groups at Deep Springs College in Big Pine, California, where he had been denied admission. oregonlive.com, "Newberg man pleads guilty to making school shooting threats in California," 22 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

6 Sep 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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