in·​di·​vid·​u·​al·​ist | \ ˌin-də-ˈvij-wə-list How to pronounce individualist (audio) , -ˈvi-jə-wə-, -ˈvi-jə-list\

Definition of individualist

1 : one that pursues a markedly independent course in thought or action
2 : one that advocates or practices individualism

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Other Words from individualist

individualist or individualistic \ ˌin-​də-​ˌvij-​wə-​ˈli-​dtik How to pronounce individualistic (audio) , -​ˌvi-​jə-​wə-​ , -​ˌvi-​jə-​ˈli-​ \ adjective
individualistically \ ˌin-​də-​ˌvij-​wə-​ˈli-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce individualistically (audio) , -​ˌvi-​jə-​wə-​ , -​ˌvi-​jə-​ˈli-​ \ adverb

Examples of individualist in a Sentence

The school encourages children to be individualists. an individualist who steadfastly refuses to do what everyone else is doing

Recent Examples on the Web

Is his idol the communitarian Edmund Burke or the individualist John Locke? Daniel Akst, WSJ, "Conservative Iconoclast Reihan Salam Takes the Helm," 20 June 2019 Whatever the interpretation, the symbolic nature of the American flag’s design may echo the country’s individualist foundations. Claire Wolters, National Geographic, "Flag Day's long—and surprising—history explained," 14 June 2019 Professor Fiss faults me for committing the individualist heresy of focusing on individual rather than collective effects of affirmative action. Noah Feldman, The New York Review of Books, "Arguing Affirmative Action," 7 Feb. 2019 Most of us are more comfortable remembering a textbook America, the one of rugged individualists and lofty ideals. Rinker Buck, WSJ, "‘Black Flags, Blue Waters’ Review: To Live and Die a Pirate King," 26 Sep. 2018 The study found that almost everyone cares about preserving more lives than fewer, but that people in individualist cultures value this more. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "This is the most important moral question about self-driving cars," 9 Nov. 2018 Books, films, paintings and other forms of individualist human expression are forbidden and Canada (once again) is the final destination on the road to freedom. Lorraine Ali,, "The fear is now: How HBO’s ‘Fahrenheit 451’ measures up against TV's most recent dystopian dramas," 18 May 2018 Americans’ self-image is as a nation of rugged individualists who tamed the continent, dug the Panama Canal, and put a man on the moon. Linda Rodriguez Mcrobbie,, "Don’t get too comfortable: America’s relentless pursuit of convenience and relaxation," 19 May 2018 Americans may be big enough to contain both frontier individualists and comfort-seeking layabouts. Linda Rodriguez Mcrobbie,, "Don’t get too comfortable: America’s relentless pursuit of convenience and relaxation," 19 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of individualist

1826, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for individualist

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for individualist

The first known use of individualist was in 1826

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English Language Learners Definition of individualist

: a person who does things without being concerned about what other people will think

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