Definition of individualist in English:



  • 1A person who is independent and self-reliant.

    ‘a rugged individualist driven to succeed’
    • ‘He was an unorthodox individualist.’
    • ‘She's an individualist, not a nonconformist.’
    • ‘Because actors, in essence, are individualists, they don't really work as a unit.’
    • ‘He had already gained a reputation as a fierce individualist who refused to work well with studios.’
    • ‘She's in tune with trends, but she's a confident individualist when it comes to style.’
    • ‘The figure of the cowboy became the West's protagonist, a self-reliant individualist with a virtuous sense of fair play.’
    free spirit, individual, nonconformist, unorthodox person, unconventional person, original, eccentric, bohemian, maverick, rare bird, rarity
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    1. 1.1 A self-centred or egotistical person.
      ‘selfish individualists thinking only of themselves’
      • ‘One might suppose that politicians were supreme individualists who came together only because they recognized that co-operation was the only effective way to promote their own separate agendas.’
      • ‘These are the privileged individualists who have already snatched their slice of the American dream.’
      • ‘John was an almost insanely egotistical individualist.’
      • ‘They are selfish, go-getting individualists.’
      • ‘He believes that children who do not regularly eat with or talk to their parents can turn into anti-social, undisciplined individualists.’
  • 2An advocate of a social theory favouring freedom of action for individuals over collective or state control.

    ‘radical individualists, committed to quality of life’
    • ‘She was from first to last a radical individualist.’
    • ‘He was an extreme individualist who described himself as the last of the true Tories.’
    • ‘When certain people began to be individualists, fear set into the community.’
    • ‘Chen was a rationalist and an individualist.’
    • ‘He often liked to refer to himself as an "individualist," sometimes even as an "anarchist."’
    • ‘Such laws are scarcely ever opposed on grounds of principle, even by the most doctrinaire individualists.’
    • ‘Liberal individualists argue that the individual is morally prior to the community.’
    • ‘Concepts like "emergent order" have been an obsession of methodological individualists for ages.’
    • ‘Individualists and collectivists disagree over whether the Second Amendment grants individuals a right to firearm possession.’


  • 1Relating to or characterized by the habit or principle of being independent and self-reliant.

    ‘individualist attitudes’
    • ‘My mother was in turns warm and distant, yielding in me both a confused sense of worth and an independent individualist streak.’
    • ‘And the people became more prosperous, more assertive, more individualist.’
    • ‘He admits to being a decadent individualist writer.’
    • ‘The male characters are Paul, a successful doctor, Garvey, a rugged individualist adventurer, and Jerry, a small time con man.’
    • ‘His unconventional and highly individualist style may be forgiven, as well as his occasional overriding of the composers' instructions.’
    • ‘She is opportunistic, an individualist, ambitious risk-taker.’
    • ‘Our individualist culture tends to think almost exclusively of great advances in science or philosophy as the product of great lone geniuses.’
    • ‘Perhaps the greatest attribute of our student body is the individualist attitude of so many students.’
    • ‘The narrative is a parable of individualist success.’
    • ‘It influenced the Romantic movement in the arts by releasing the more individualist attitudes in which this movement was based.’
  • 2Relating to or denoting a social theory favouring freedom of action for individuals over collective or state control.

    ‘individualist capitalism’
    • ‘I grew up in a capitalist and individualist society.’
    • ‘His argument that churches are caught in the great conflict between individualist and communal constructions of the world is persuasive.’
    • ‘This, in my opinion, sums up the individualist movement.’
    • ‘Socialists emphasized a social, as opposed to an individualist, approach to life, especially economic organization.’
    • ‘The integrating theme behind individualist anarchism was the primacy of the individual and the commitment to rid society of all but defensive force.’
    • ‘Individualist feminism makes no reference to women being economically or socially equal, only to equal treatment under just laws.’
    • ‘The individualist anarchists saw land economics differently.’
    • ‘Those who characterize liberalism as excessively individualist often also complain that Americans are exceedingly concerned with their rights.’
    • ‘He argued that his outlook was not individualist but collectivist.’
    • ‘In his most prominent works, he dismissed much of the American individualist tradition in economics.’