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 There is no place for the individualist who makes a variety of bets at his own discretion. The Economist, "Buttonwood Do not write off the macro hedge-fund manager just yet," 28 Nov. 2019 No vehicle has identified itself as closely with the rugged individualist. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Tesla’s new Cybertruck is here," 21 Nov. 2019 Think Marshall Miller, the base jumper, sky diver and wing-suit flyer whose death-defying antics make individualist renegades of just a generation ago seem quaint. New York Times, "If You Can Get Killed Doing It, Fashion Wants It," 7 Aug. 2019 Though witches have most often been treated throughout history as evil in both fiction and in real life, sentiments began to change in the 19th century as anticlerical, individualist values took hold across Europe. Pam Grossman, The Atlantic, "The Wizard of Oz Invented the ‘Good Witch’," 25 Aug. 2019 The real Paine was so much more compelling — a thin Quaker, an individualist with a big heart, who lived her life as far from a silly Texas stereotype as anyone could have. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "In searching for the next ‘Hamilton,’ the makers of the musical ‘Oswald’ traverse the JFK minefield," 23 Aug. 2019 Decades of American male bravado, of Hemingway woodsmen and Clint Eastwood cowboys, of rugged individualists driving manly trucks alone, have given us the suicidal wreckage of American masculinity. Bruce Barcott, New York Times, "Even in Hemingway’s Woods, Sometimes a Man Needs to Cry," 2 Aug. 2019 The result is a communitarian version of the old individualist fairy tale: the nation as a pristine and consensual community, unsullied by coercion or conquest, which might have a history but doesn’t really have a politics. Daniel Luban, The New Republic, "The Man Behind National Conservatism," 26 July 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for individualist

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The first known use of individualist was in 1826

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Statistics for individualist

Last Updated

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Individualist.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for individualist


How to pronounce individualist (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of individualist

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

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Comments on individualist

What made you want to look up individualist? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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