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

The cost to play is $105 per individual ($80 military/government) or $420 per foursome ($320 for military/government foursome). baltimoresun.com, "Aberdeen: TAPS fundraisers for military families on tap," 5 July 2019 Using a sharp carving knife, with the blade at a 45-degree angle, cut each steak crosswise into slices 1/4 inch thick, and arrange them overlapping on individual warmed serving plates. Wolfgang Puck, Twin Cities, "Wolfgang Puck: Make your Fourth of July menu sizzle with grilled steaks," 3 July 2019 In 2027, the top 1% would claim about 83% — but only because most of the individual income tax changes expire after 2025. Abby Vesoulis, Time, "Here Are the Facts Behind Some of Democrats' Biggest Claims in Thursday's Debate," 28 June 2019 The history of the United States can be seen as a steady march to extend Jefferson’s vision of a society where all people are created equal, and the individual right to life, liberty and happiness reigns supreme. Randy Blaser, chicagotribune.com, "Column: This Fourth of July, take a moment to reflect on our nation’s founding," 28 June 2019 That won’t be true until 2027, when most of the individual income tax changes expire unless Congress extends them. USA TODAY, "Fact checking Thursday's Democratic debate on climate change, guns and immigration," 28 June 2019 That individual, known as the Altai Neanderthal, had a genome very different from those of later European Neanderthals. Maya Wei-haas, National Geographic, "Ancient DNA reveals new twists in Neanderthal migration," 26 June 2019 Just as each step of her process contributed to a grand, cohesive artwork, so too did each individual living in any given historical moment—like Luke Valentine—contribute to grand changes in their societies. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "These Engaging, Immersive Works Erase the Line Between Art and Audience," 19 June 2019 Yes, the vast amounts of data collected by companies around the world should shock even the least privacy-conscious individual. Jessie Maga, National Review, "A Sensible Middle Ground on Data Privacy," 19 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

According to the American with Disabilities Act, a service animal is an animal trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. Jessica Villagomez, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago man continues legal fight to bring his ‘emotional support’ pig to parks," 10 July 2019 That’s between about $50,000 and $75,000 a year for an individual and between about $103,000 and $154,500 for a family of four. latimes.com, "With Obamacare in peril, California reins in rising health insurance premiums," 9 July 2019 To be eligible for the grants, a family’s annual income has to be less than $100,000; for an individual, annual income must be less than $50,000. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Where the Democratic primary candidates stand on housing," 8 July 2019 In Kentucky, the legal age of consent is 16 but rises to 18 when an individual is in a position of trust or authority over a younger person. Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, "Ex-LMPD officer pleads guilty to sexually abusing teens in Explorer program," 8 July 2019 For an individual who is addicted to alcohol, treatment is essential in order to have the best chance of a successful and safe recovery, Barnhart says. Cory Stieg, refinery29.com, "The Problem With Calling Sobriety A "Wellness Trend"," 5 July 2019 The award was created in 2015 and named after the foundation’s first executive director to recognize an individual who has significantly increased access to civil justice for the poor in Florida. Karina Elwood, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando lawyer receives Florida Bar Foundation’s public service award for helping homeless, poor get IDs," 3 July 2019 If an individual is reported, they are investigated by a committee and punishment ranges from more chapel time to expulsion. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "For Emma Gee, being the only out LGBTQ athlete at BYU is complicated," 3 July 2019 Lamont has contributed the maximum to Biden’s campaign: federal election rules allow an individual to donate $2,800 per election. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, "Amid the crowded field of Democrats running for president, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont is endorsing Joe Biden," 2 July 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

12 Jul 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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Comments on individual

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