in·​di·​vid·​u·​a·​tion ˌin-də-ˌvi-jə-ˈwā-shən How to pronounce individuation (audio)
: the act or process of individuating: such as
: the development of the individual from the universal
: the determination of the individual in the general
: the process by which individuals in society become differentiated from one another
psychology : the process in the analytical psychology of Carl Gustav Jung by which the self is formed by integrating elements of the conscious and unconscious mind
embryology : regional differentiation along a primary embryonic axis
: the state of being individuated
specifically : individuality

Examples of individuation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But ethical conflict and discussions of faith and sacrifice can only sustain a movie so far, particularly when the large ensemble doesn’t allow much scope for character individuation. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Sep. 2023 Reading Carl Jung’s theory of individuation, the development of self-realization, led her to see her seven chickens as one continuous being, always in communication with wild birds. Jennifer Piejko, Los Angeles Times, 7 Sep. 2023 Again, competitive individuation at least offers a chance this could happen. WIRED, 6 July 2023 There is another problem with any version of individuation that is entirely based on some ID code: It can be spoofed. WIRED, 6 July 2023 Their tailored silhouettes indicate their membership in the political class, making individuation difficult. Jo-Ellen Pozner, The Conversation, 24 Sep. 2020 But given Serge’s subject matter and circumstances, this push and pull between individuation and abstraction has a specific charge. Ben Lerner, The New York Review of Books, 29 Dec. 2022 This engagement with primordial matter perfectly aligns with themes of female identity, gender individuation and personal agency. Dallas News, 5 July 2022 The framework may be highly theoretical, but Golman believes there’s an important takeaway: Neither conformity nor individuation produce meaningful results in a vacuum. Gabe Allen, Discover Magazine, 24 Jan. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'individuation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1616, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of individuation was in 1616

Dictionary Entries Near individuation

Cite this Entry

“Individuation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Medical Definition


in·​di·​vid·​u·​a·​tion -ˌvij-ə-ˈwā-shən How to pronounce individuation (audio)
: the process in the analytical psychology of C. G. Jung by which the self is formed by integrating elements of the conscious and unconscious mind
: regional differentiation along a primary embryonic axis
individuate transitive verb
individuated; individuating

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