in·​di·​vid·​u·​al·​ist ˌin-də-ˈvi-jə-wə-list How to pronounce individualist (audio)
: one that pursues a markedly independent course in thought or action
: one that advocates or practices individualism
individualist adjective
or individualistic
ˌin-də-ˌvi-jə-wə-ˈli-stik How to pronounce individualist (audio)
ˌin-də-ˌvi-jə-wə-ˈli-sti-k(ə-)lē How to pronounce individualist (audio)

Example Sentences

The school encourages children to be individualists. an individualist who steadfastly refuses to do what everyone else is doing
Recent Examples on the Web Gone is the image of the stoic, rugged individualist. Chris Carosa, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2023 The Robot represents science as a product of the individualist. Kyle Munkittrick, Discover Magazine, 17 Mar. 2011 But in my experience, the biggest problem is that already-busy executives with full-time jobs have to play the rugged individualist—trying to solve really complex business problems while holding down the fort. Randy Shattuck, Forbes, 11 Aug. 2022 On their Enneagram personality types: Gomez is a type 4, the individualist. Alyssa Bailey, ELLE, 5 Aug. 2022 Part of being a true individualist is fighting for the right of others to not conform to conventional ideas. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 8 July 2021 This is a picture of the parent Johnson wants to be—the opponent of pushiness and authority, the individualist. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 26 Jan. 2021 But the authors also reported that denizens of the slopes scored lower for other traits, such as agreeableness and extraversion—in keeping with the stereotype of the laconic individualist that has often been portrayed in Westerns. Emily Willingham, Scientific American, 8 Sep. 2020 Today, Wright is best known as a pop icon, a flamboyant individualist with a chaotic love life who routinely bullied clients and collaborators—all in the service of his powerful personality and homegrown American aesthetic. Anthony Alofsin, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Feb. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'individualist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1826, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of individualist was in 1826

Dictionary Entries Near individualist

Cite this Entry

“Individualist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​di·​vid·​u·​al·​ist ˌin-də-ˈvij-(ə-)wə-ləst How to pronounce individualist (audio)
: a person who thinks or behaves in an individual or independent way
: a supporter of individualism
individualist adjective
or individualistic
-ˌvij-(ə-)wə-ˈlis-tik How to pronounce individualist (audio)
individualistically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on individualist

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