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Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective individual differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of individual are especial, particular, special, and specific. While all these words mean "of or relating to one thing or class," individual implies unequivocal reference to one of a class or group.

valued each individual opinion

Where would especial be a reasonable alternative to individual?

The words especial and individual can be used in similar contexts, but especial may add implications of preeminence or preference.

a matter of especial importance

When would particular be a good substitute for individual?

The words particular and individual are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, particular stresses the distinctness of something as an individual.

a ballet step of particular difficulty

When is special a more appropriate choice than individual?

The synonyms special and individual are sometimes interchangeable, but special stresses having a quality, character, identity, or use of its own.

special ingredients

When could specific be used to replace individual?

While in some cases nearly identical to individual, specific implies a quality or character distinguishing a kind or a species.

children with specific nutritional needs

Thesaurus Entries Near individual

Cite this Entry

“Individual.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

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