Definition of individual in English:

individual

adjective

  • 1attributive Single; separate.

    ‘individual tiny flowers’
    • ‘But why a separate outfit when individual companies already have quality departments?’
    • ‘These eruptions are thought to rise first as vertical sheets of magma, before separating into individual pipes.’
    • ‘Remove excess soil and separate individual bulbs, disturbing the roots as little as possible.’
    • ‘More or less curls can be created by separating the individual strands of hair into small or larger sections.’
    • ‘The individual cells were tiny, bare closets with no amenities, and were designed to be too short to lie down in.’
    • ‘The cast is really rather too large to single any one member out for individual comment.’
    • ‘Separate individual competitions for men and women are scheduled and they will be divided into junior and senior groups.’
    • ‘With longer projects it is also productive to work on individual scenes separately rather than the whole movie at once.’
    • ‘The shoot and roots of individual plants were separated and weighed.’
    • ‘There are so many wonderful performances here, it would be pointless to single out individual cast members for praise.’
    • ‘When it was just 25 separate chapters in individual word documents it didn't feel that substantial.’
    • ‘Parents in some parts of Britain have travelled abroad or paid privately for single vaccinations against the individual diseases.’
    • ‘Our study was performed using single swab specimens from individual patients.’
    • ‘The Marie Curie Actions offer numerous opportunities to individual researchers to participate in a research team in another country.’
    • ‘It would be unfair to single out individual players as every man on the field gave 100 per cent effort.’
    • ‘Which means a favorite wouldn't be a single work but a range of work by individual artists.’
    • ‘Most plants occurred as dense individual tufts separated by cracked soil.’
    • ‘For the chicory: poach in water with salt and lemon juice for three minutes, drain and separate into individual leaves.’
    • ‘Separate the bulbs into individual cloves and space them every 10 cm in rows 30 cm apart.’
    single, separate, discrete, independent
    View synonyms
  • 2Of or for a particular person.

    ‘the individual needs of the children’
    • ‘Of course, the more valuable people perceive their individual cell phones to be, the less likely they may be to trade up for new ones.’
    • ‘We have different activities and approaches and we try and make individual care plans for each person.’
    • ‘Couples therapy can also be separate but integrated into individual therapies for depression.’
    • ‘The nurse to patient ratio is very high to allow for individual patient care.’
    • ‘The project is to be commended for promoting individual responsibility in health care.’
    • ‘The tale of the whale shows how every story today is seen through the prism of individual emotions.’
    • ‘Material received when consulting this Internet site is for individual use only.’
    • ‘The most important thing was that I got individual care from the staff.’
    • ‘The group aims to build housing units to provide individual care for mentally disabled children in China.’
    • ‘Interesting that we now have numerous fonts designed to look like individual handwriting.’
    • ‘Finally, we do individual sessions to follow people through a full task, to make certain it's working the way they want it to.’
    • ‘Two of those groups were single students who needed individual instruction.’
    • ‘It provided individual clinical and preventive care, combined with health promotion, to a defined community.’
    • ‘They also received a number of individual donations from people.’
    • ‘But in a family of 12 children there was not all that much time for her mother to give individual care to any one child.’
    • ‘Research has shown that people reduce their use of health care after individual psychotherapy.’
    • ‘An audit that involved a systematic search of all individual primary care records was performed at the end of the study period.’
    • ‘They want each patient to be given an individual care plan tailored to their needs following rapid access to an expert diagnosis and assessment.’
    • ‘The major exception is farm-to-farm movements of sheep, which will remain subject to individual licences.’
    • ‘Entrants should be aware that they may be subject to local call charges depending on their own individual arrangements for internet access.’
    1. 2.1 Designed for use by one person.
      ‘individual serving dishes’
      • ‘You can refrigerate the broth at this point and simply heat it up when you want to make an individual serving.’
      • ‘You can make it in individual serving dishes for a special dessert or one big pan for everyone to dive into.’
      • ‘Arrange the egg pieces, the yolks of which should still be a little soft on top individual servings or on top of the bowl of salad.’
      • ‘The individual dishes are not cheap but the portions are generous and good fresh ingredients are in evidence.’
      • ‘So it makes sense to split the money into separate individual accounts.’
      • ‘Serve the ingredients in individual dishes alongside each other.’
      • ‘Its serving order and individual portions is Western and the use of the chopsticks is Oriental.’
      • ‘Soups were available in a can as well as individual portions in a box!’
      • ‘The mainstay of our order was nigiri sushi (fish on individual portions of sushi rice).’
      • ‘Pour into large glass serving bowl or individual stemmed glasses.’
      • ‘However, the restaurant does individual Japanese dishes on the other nights of the week at reasonable prices too!’
      • ‘You can also make individual portions in small bowls, using mini-jaffa cakes.’
      • ‘Place the hens on the serving platter or individual plates and drizzle the sauce over them.’
      • ‘Add a measure of your favourite liqueur and either pour into individual dishes or into a pre-cooked sweet pastry tart.’
      • ‘Share the mussels into individual serving bowls and then ladle a generous amount of broth into each bowl.’
      • ‘Everywhere we went butter and jams were served in those horrible individual portions.’
      • ‘Layer with the rose petal cream in a single bowl or in individual glasses.’
      • ‘When the incredibly fresh dish arrived, I deduced that it must be mashed on the fly in individual portions.’
      • ‘There was little variation, right down to the brand of the individual servings of jam.’
      • ‘Whizz until the mixture is quite thick, then tip it into a shallow dish, or individual dishes.’
    2. 2.2 Characteristic of a particular person or thing.
      ‘individual traits of style’
      • ‘By the same token, it is also good to take into account the individual character or personality of the student.’
      • ‘Fresh and creative gold jewellery designs allow women to define their individual sense of fashion.’
      • ‘Rather their individual style and approach complements each other.’
      • ‘They were supported by strong singers and actors in other key roles, who brought their individual style and charm to the show.’
      • ‘It's often followed by a purging of influences and the development of an individual style.’
      • ‘The intense individual characterization he brought to his subjects was sometimes criticized as verging on caricature.’
      • ‘This didactic function tended to diminish many characteristics of individual style.’
      • ‘You make a mark with your individual style and performance in whatever you do today.’
      • ‘But they needed to adapt their individual styles to get the best from the workforce, he said.’
      • ‘However, it is as a novelist that he is most renowned particularly for his highly polished, individual style.’
      • ‘Many bed and breakfasts have individual charm and character, often in the spirit of the locale.’
      • ‘Linked closely to individual style, colour is perhaps the easiest and most personal expression of taste.’
      • ‘Each guest bedroom has an individual design; all are exquisite and huge fun.’
      • ‘Later, when the screenplay makes a feeble attempt to give them individual traits, it's too late.’
      • ‘However, all models will have their own individual body styles and dynamic characteristics.’
      • ‘This way you could style pages by referencing individual styles from other sites.’
      • ‘There is an argument that says globalisation is ruining the individual character of different nations.’
      • ‘There are, of course, personal motives and individual peculiarities involved in the latest incident.’
      • ‘There are so many choices available to complement the individual style of your room.’
      • ‘There are at least six different forms of lightning, each with their own individual characteristics and colours.’
      characteristic, distinctive, distinct, typical, particular, peculiar, personal, personalized, special
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3 Having a striking or unusual character; original.
      ‘she creates her own, highly individual landscapes’
      • ‘The reason he was chosen was that he has a very individual style.’
      • ‘I prefer things that are individual with a really interesting design aesthetic.’
      • ‘Look out for his book, as his very individual writing style and story telling is brilliant.’
      • ‘Amy has an individual sense of style and glamour - and already looks great.’
      • ‘The exhibition is testimony to the common themes that bind them and yet the unmistakeably individual genius and style of each.’
      • ‘It's a great showcase of local talent and the perfect place to pick up an unusual and individual Christmas gift.’
      • ‘I have invented a name for my own highly individual style of present wrapping.’
      • ‘York was once renowned for its individual shops selling unusual merchandise, that is what the visitors expect.’
      • ‘People trying to be hip and striving to have an individual style to the point of absurdity, that they end up all looking the same.’
      • ‘Special thanks to all especially the younger models whose individual styles made it a night to remember.’
      • ‘Their individual styles would necessarily mirror their political consciousness.’
      • ‘I'm a fairly recent convert to his individual style of trip-hop, orchestral, landscape music.’
      original, unique, exclusive, singular, idiosyncratic, different, unusual, off-centre, novel, unorthodox, atypical, out of the ordinary
      View synonyms

noun

  • 1A single human being as distinct from a group, class, or family.

    ‘boat trips for parties and individuals’
    • ‘I was brought up to respect all faiths and the human rights of individuals.’
    • ‘It will not affect the ability of individuals to import single copies for private use.’
    • ‘Of course all references to groups are ultimately references to distinct individuals.’
    • ‘First, because people vote for parties rather than individuals, any personal vote is relatively small.’
    • ‘Twins are genetic duplicates of each other, but no one would deny that each is a distinct human individual.’
    • ‘Parties and individuals have until Tuesday to get their Westminster nominations in.’
    • ‘This example is extremely limited as I was speaking to a single individual.’
    • ‘His essential argument is that humans, as individuals, are inherently capitalist.’
    • ‘He is not satisfied with anything less than total absorption and enjoyment, from every single individual present.’
    • ‘To single out individuals for praise would be unfair as in my opinion they were all star quality.’
    • ‘Now we have a six-week period and there's going to be a lot pressure on bodies and individuals.’
    • ‘But, at some point, each individual is still a human being and has to answer to his conscience.’
    • ‘You can be yourself, and the basis of unity is that you are a human being and an individual.’
    • ‘True partnership and community can only come about between distinct individuals.’
    • ‘It is aimed primarily at corporate clients, though individuals can still use the service.’
    • ‘There comes a time when you see them all as individuals rather than representing parties.’
    • ‘A free market frees individuals to make distinct choices and independent decisions.’
    • ‘When you look deeply inside you will find that we are all individuals and human beings.’
    • ‘It is a basic issue of human rights that individuals can observe their religion.’
    • ‘A song, by its very definition, implies a single individual giving voice to either emotion or narrative by means of melody.’
    1. 1.1 A single member of a class.
      ‘they live in a group or as individuals, depending on the species’
      • ‘Increase in mass in real time is shown for one individual of each species in Figure 2.’
      • ‘Most of the whales in the area during the hunt were large single individuals.’
      • ‘And the general body texture from one individual to another within the same species can also be quite different.’
      • ‘Plants often fertilize themselves to at least some extent, so polyploid species can arise from a single individual.’
      • ‘With simple viability selection and random mating, the selection group is a single individual.’
    2. 1.2informal with adjective A person of a specified kind.
      ‘the most selfish, egotistical individual I have ever met’
      • ‘Bad manners are the outward sign of a seriously selfish individual.’
      • ‘I've come to the conclusion that I am a selfish heartless individual.’
      • ‘No right-thinking individual can ever be persuaded that hatred and hostility is an answer to anything.’
      • ‘A very quiet individual, his gentlemanly manner endeared him to all who made his acquaintance.’
      • ‘No decent, rational individual would ever choose war over peace, he added.’
      person, human being, human, being, mortal, soul, creature, thing
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 A distinctive or original person.
      individualist, free spirit, nonconformist, original, eccentric, character, bohemian, maverick, rare bird, rarity
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘indivisible’): from medieval Latin individualis, from Latin individuus, from in- ‘not’ + dividuus ‘divisible’ (from dividere ‘to divide’).

Pronunciation

individual

/ˌɪndəˈvɪdʒ(u)əl//ˌindəˈvij(o͞o)əl/