1

individual

adjective in·di·vid·u·al \ ˌin-də-ˈvij-wəl , -ˈvi-jə-wəl , -ˈvi-jəl , -ˈvi-jü-əl \

Definition of individual

1 obsolete :inseparable
2 a :of, relating to, or distinctively associated with an individual
  • an individual effort
b :being an individual or existing as an indivisible whole
c :intended for one person
  • an individual serving
3 :existing as a distinct entity :separate
4 :having marked individuality
  • an individual style

individually

adverb

Examples of individual in a Sentence

  1. What are the individual traits of the breed?

  2. The doctor carefully evaluates the individual needs of her patients.

  3. Students will receive as much individual attention as possible.

  4. She has a very individual style of writing.

  5. a pattern as individual as a fingerprint

Recent Examples of individual from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of individual

Medieval Latin individualis, from Latin individuus indivisible, from in- + dividuus divided, from dividere to divide

Synonym Discussion of individual

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

2

individual

noun

Definition of individual

1 a :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

Examples of individual in a Sentence

  1. They promote a philosophy that sacrifices the rights of the individual for the public welfare.

  2. They are both rather odd individuals.

  3. Are you the individual I spoke with on the telephone?

  4. She's a very talented individual.

  5. The markings on tigers are unique to each individual.

Recent Examples of individual from the Web

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.

First Known Use of individual

15th century



INDIVIDUAL Defined for English Language Learners

individual

adjective

Definition of individual for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of individual for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

individual

adjective in·di·vid·u·al \ ˌin-də-ˈvi-jə-wəl \

Definition of individual for Students

1 :relating to a single member of a group
  • individual needs
2 :intended for one person
  • an individual pizza
3 :1particular 1, separate
  • Each individual case is different.
4 :having a special quality :distinctive
  • an individual style

individually

adverb

2

individual

noun

Definition of individual for Students

1 :a single member of a group
2 :a single human being


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