individual

adjective
in·di·vid·u·al | \ˌin-də-ˈvij-wəl, -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 legislation, which reduced individual and corporate tax rates, was enacted in December and mostly took effect Jan. 1. Richard Rubin, WSJ, "U.S. Government Revenues Drop in Wake of Tax Cuts," 12 July 2018 The competition included individual, pairs and group entries in speed, power and freestyle events with single rope and Double Dutch. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Katy jumpers excel in competition," 10 July 2018 New Yorkers have become increasingly reliant on the emergency food program, which was originally intended to subsidize an individual or family’s monthly food supply when it was created by the city in 1984. New York Times, "New York’s Emergency Food Program Gets More Funding, but Will It Be Enough?," 8 July 2018 Lopez Obrador said individual and property rights would be guaranteed, promised respect for the autonomy of the Bank of Mexico and said his government will maintain financial and fiscal discipline. Time, "Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Claims Historic Win in Mexico Elections," 2 July 2018 Any individual, organization or groups able to assist in this effort are requested to make checks payable to: Payless Back-to-School Shoe Program and are fully tax deductible. Courant Community, "Community News For The East Hartford Edition," 2 July 2018 Honesty matters, but so does partisanship Our findings reveal that forcing an individual to think about honesty does increase subjects’ willingness to view Trump as dishonest. Jared Mcdonald, Candace Turitto, Vox, "Honesty first: how to make politicians pay for lying," 2 July 2018 The 3,200 championship marked the third individual state title of Muniz’s career and served as a fitting end to a dominant senior campaign. Kyle Stackpole, Howard County Times, "Kai Muniz builds on indoor success, earns boys outdoor track and field Athlete of the Year," 29 June 2018 Kelly Cunningham, San Diego Institute for Economic Research NO: The market economy produces what each individual/region/country is best at, relatively more efficient in, and exchanges that production for goods and services of others. Phillip Molnar, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Can the U.S. economy withstand a trade war?," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Such perceptions are consistent with the popular image of the firefighter as a daring individual who is willing to risk life and limb to save the life of a total stranger and who is lauded for doing so. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "Fire departments fight a culture that saves — and costs — lives," 13 July 2018 The species is an uncommon summer visitor to our area; a few individuals are found each year at ponds and wetlands. Taylor Piephoff, charlotteobserver, "You’ll have no regrets in search for egrets – and herons, too," 11 July 2018 In addition, scientists often uncover mutations or other findings that have questionable medical significance to an individual. Jennifer Couzin-frankel, Science | AAAS, "Report advocates broader return of research results," 10 July 2018 Yet if a few individuals regularly migrate to their own islands to breed, then a modestly helpful mutation might have a better chance of establishing a foothold and spreading back to the main population. John Rennie, WIRED, "This Mutation Math Shows How Life Keeps on Evolving," 1 July 2018 Using clues, individuals and/or groups can hunt on trails for sculptured, stones, mystery objects, plants, and animals while learning about the history and features of the refuge. Sara Ervin Walser, Laurel Leader, "Nature programs at Patuxent Research in full swing [South Laurel/Montpelier]," 28 June 2018 Instead, the indictment will be handed off to the Justice Department’s National Security Division and its Assistant Attorney General John Demers to await a future prosecution on the slim chance any of the individuals wind up into US custody. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "Indicting 12 Russian Hackers Could Be Mueller's Biggest Move Yet," 13 July 2018 In other words the tests were drawn up without input from the very individuals that know the platform best and rely on it in combat, and were conceived by those who would rather see the A-10 go away. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Long Awaited A-10 vs.-F-35 Flyoff Is Off to a Sketchy Start," 11 July 2018 The names of these individuals were redacted, but email addresses show eight had relations with the Arrigo Automotive Group, a car dealership in the West Palm Beach area. Renae Reints, Fortune, "Members of Trump's Exclusive Clubs May Have Toured Air Force One," 9 July 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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Phrases Related to individual

matter of (individual) conscience

Statistics for individual

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

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 \

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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