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

Any individual suit at this point is likely to be transferred to the class-action suit. Clifford Atiyeh, Car and Driver, "What You Need to Know about Ford's PowerShift Transmission Problems," 13 May 2019 A few of Meghan's close friends from the cast also shared individual posts celebrating the royal baby. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle's Former Suits Castmates Celebrate the Arrival of the Royal Baby," 6 May 2019 Ultimately, that's up to each user and their individual needs. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Acer Swift 7 review: Thinness above all else demands many compromises," 8 Nov. 2018 Nvidia didn’t provide a list of which laptops will ship with the new GPUs installed, but its press briefing showcased some individual models. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Nvidia's mobile GeForce GTX 1650 and GTX 1660 Ti give affordable gaming laptops more firepower," 23 Apr. 2019 Serena Ventures invests in companies that embrace diverse leadership, individual empowerment, creativity and opportunity. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Serena Williams Has Secretly Been Investing in Diverse Companies for the Past 5 Years," 17 Apr. 2019 Understanding bee biology is crucial for all beginners, which is why Repasky requires first-timers to take a beekeeping class from an experienced, respected individual or organization. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "Beekeeping for Beginners: Everything to Know About Starting Your Own Colony," 5 Apr. 2019 The new shades — which were previously available only as a complete 10-piece collection — are set to debut for individual sale on December 26th, Allure reports. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Rihanna's Fenty Beauty Is Releasing 10 New Shades of Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick," 24 Dec. 2018 The legislation would affect ballot committees initiating constitutional amendments, bills and referendums by capping the number of signatures that could come from an individual congressional district at 10 percent. David Eggert, The Seattle Times, "Michigan GOP advances bill to make ballot drives harder," 12 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Unlike the normal Battle Rounds, where members of the same team sing a duet together, the competitors will each perform an individual song. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "What Are the Cross Battles on 'The Voice?'," 10 Apr. 2019 Like any group of individuals who happen to share a specific characteristic, amputees and people with limb differences aren’t a monolith. Susie Armitage, SELF, "10 Things Amputees and People With Limb Differences Want You to Know," 1 May 2019 Of course, these roles sometimes blur and team performance reflects the combined efforts of many individuals. Steve Rosenbush, WSJ, "What Your CEO Is Reading: Who Is the True Leader of the NFL Franchise?," 26 Apr. 2019 Muslim women make up a vibrant community of individuals who are independently minded, brave, inspiring, resilient, creative, capable, and unapologetically themselves. Shammara Lawrence, Allure, "What MuslimGirl's Amani Al-Khatahtbeh Wants to See From the Beauty Industry in 2019," 27 Mar. 2019 Some of these individuals may have been minors at the time of their application process. Vogue, "USC Is Preventing Kids Associated With the College Admissions Scandal From Registering For Classes," 19 Mar. 2019 The waves of women came in the form of a flood, with brave individuals sharing similar stories and igniting a conversation that was rarely had. Ciarra Lorren Zatorski, Vogue, "Anita Hill, Nadia Murad, Katy Perry, and More Received DVF Awards at Last Night’s Ceremony," 13 Apr. 2019 The reasons for putting so much emphasis on these individuals no doubt has much to do with making the picture more commercially viable by appealing to Western audiences. Soren Andersen, The Seattle Times, "‘Hotel Mumbai’ review: a horrifying tale of 2008 terrorist attack," 26 Mar. 2019 The large number of fraudulent comments helped obscure the fact that about 98.5 percent of unique comments written by individuals were opposed to Pai's repeal. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Report: FBI opens criminal investigation into net neutrality comment fraud," 10 Dec. 2018

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

17 May 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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