individual

adjective
in·​di·​vid·​u·​al | \ ˌin-də-ˈvij-wəl, -ˈvi-jə-wəl How to pronounce individual (audio) , -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 Also, local governments and individual businesses can opt to keep mask requirements in place. Meredith Cohn, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland lifts COVID mask mandate after new CDC guidance," 14 May 2021 Masks will still be required for everyone on public transportation, and may still be necessary elsewhere depending on state or local laws and individual businesses’ mask policies. Eve Sneider, Wired, "New Mask Guidance, Shots for Teens, and More Coronavirus News," 14 May 2021 This includes all social distancing and mask mandates, although DeWine noted individual businesses and schools can still choose to enforce their own rules. Zoe Christen Jones, CBS News, "Ohio to give five residents $1 million each in vaccine lottery," 13 May 2021 In areas without mask mandates, rules may remain in place for individual businesses or workplaces. al, "What new COVID-19 mask guidelines mean for Alabama," 13 May 2021 Some, though, skipped the bit about federal agencies, state and local governments and individual businesses still being able to require masks inside their own jurisdictions. San Diego Union-Tribune, "To mask or not to mask: New CDC guidance conflicts with state rules," 13 May 2021 Millions of individual investors on Robinhood and other apps had decided to buy the shares—not so much because the company showed promise but simply in order to push the stock price up. Sheelah Kolhatkar, The New Yorker, "Robinhood’s Big Gamble," 10 May 2021 Robinhood and others in the industry argue zero-commission trading has created huge savings for individual investors and opened up trading to the masses. Matt Egan, CNN, "Biden's Wall Street cop is putting Robinhood on notice," 6 May 2021 Backed by more than two dozen individual investors, the Shirks have been working to get the project to the finish line. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Less is more: New downtown Dallas hotel offers plush but small rooms," 5 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Mark Lamster won first place in special or feature column on one subject by an individual for his architecture coverage. Tom Steele, Dallas News, "Dallas Morning News journalists honored with awards for writing, photography and design," 15 May 2021 Whether the victim is an individual who opened an email containing malware or a leading technology company. al, "Colonial Pipeline cyberattack reveals US economy’s frightening vulnerability," 14 May 2021 Deductions then start phasing out and are not deductible at all once an individual’s MAGI hits $76,000. Steve Sprovach And Amy Wagner, The Enquirer, "Allworth Advice: Can you still contribute to an IRA in your 70s?," 13 May 2021 Lockhart's son-in-law, Bill Davis, told CNN that Lockhart was a giving individual throughout his life. Rachel Trent, CNN, "A 95-year-old man just became the oldest organ donor in US history," 12 May 2021 This friend is an individual who is very type A and is super-organized. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: ‘Save-the-date’ announcement isn’t followed by wedding invite. Now what?," 8 May 2021 In city centers, outdoor activities may be tough to coordinate in non-crowded spaces; public or shared transportation to and from camp can also be an opportunity for your child to be impacted by a sick individual. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, "Are Summer Camps Safe This Year? What Parents Should Look for During COVID-19," 7 May 2021 Prizes will be given for the most trash collected by weight by an individual, the most unique item picked up, and to the group with the most bags. cleveland, "South Euclid Council passes resolution opposing proposed state bill that could have cities paying income tax refunds," 1 May 2021 Explanations for the differences include the possibility that individuals responding to an interviewer during a telephone call might be more inclined to offer socially acceptable answers—but the effects differ by individual and type of question. Jo Craven Mcginty, WSJ, "What Happens When Opinion Polls Move Online," 30 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for individual

Time Traveler

The first known use of individual was in the 15th century

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Statistics for individual

Last Updated

17 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Individual.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/individual. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on individual

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