individualism

noun
in·​di·​vid·​u·​al·​ism | \ ˌin-də-ˈvij-wə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce individualism (audio) , -ˈvi-jə-wə-, -ˈvi-jə-ˌli-\

Definition of individualism

1a(1) : a doctrine that the interests of the individual are or ought to be ethically paramount also : conduct guided by such a doctrine
(2) : the conception that all values, rights, and duties originate in individuals
b : a theory maintaining the political and economic independence of the individual and stressing individual initiative, action, and interests also : conduct or practice guided by such a theory
b : an individual peculiarity : idiosyncrasy

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Examples of individualism in a Sentence

a society that believes strongly in individualism He was respected for his self-reliance and individualism.

Recent Examples on the Web

Unlike American individualism, collectivism is a Chinese sentiment. Han Zhang, The New Yorker, "The “Post-Truth” Publication Where Chinese Students in America Get Their News," 19 Aug. 2019 Her defiance may be a product of Western individualism (and so, some might argue, are her writerly aspirations and her empty bank account). San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Delightful ‘The Farewell,’ starring Awkwafina, shows us a family divided," 18 July 2019 Her defiance may be a product of Western individualism (and so, some might argue, are her writerly aspirations and her empty bank account). San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Delightful ‘The Farewell,’ starring Awkwafina, shows us a family divided," 18 July 2019 Her defiance may be a product of Western individualism (and so, some might argue, are her writerly aspirations and her empty bank account). San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Delightful ‘The Farewell,’ starring Awkwafina, shows us a family divided," 18 July 2019 Her defiance may be a product of Western individualism (and so, some might argue, are her writerly aspirations and her empty bank account). San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Delightful ‘The Farewell,’ starring Awkwafina, shows us a family divided," 18 July 2019 What made Warren’s riff interesting, and Obama’s echo of it important, is that both spoke in order to advance the progressive project of diluting the concept of individualism. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: Is the individual obsolete?," 17 July 2019 His success is a testament to the fact that football, despite all the focus on skill, natural talent and individualism is (like most things in life) all about who is prepared to fight the hardest. SI.com, "Jurgen Klopp: Mr Heavy Metal Football's All-Time Best XI," 12 July 2019 But the industry has also been guilty of perpetuating stereotypes, which, as shortcuts around individualism and specific thought, are the antithesis of creativity. Cassie Werber, Quartz at Work, "Unlock your creativity by battling your brain’s laziest shortcut," 2 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'individualism.' 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 individualism

1815, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

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Statistics for individualism

Last Updated

8 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for individualism

The first known use of individualism was in 1815

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More Definitions for individualism

individualism

noun

English Language Learners Definition of individualism

: the belief that the needs of each person are more important than the needs of the whole society or group
: the actions or attitudes of a person who does things without being concerned about what other people will think

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