Definition of particularity in US English:



  • 1The quality of being individual.

    ‘the central figures of his novels are stripped of their particularity’
    • ‘A universal may be common to any number of particulars, and it is the particularity of the individual occurrence of the universal that differentiates one rose, say, from another.’
    • ‘The particularity of women's bodies, and the distinct role they play in reproduction, demand an articulation of these rights as women's rights.’
    • ‘So to be able to concentrate on a single object and to describe it in all of its individual particularity seemed to them a Herculean feat.’
    • ‘In other words, what we see is not self-evident equality, but human particularity and human individuality.’
    • ‘But here, interspersed as they are between the episodes, the iterative passages tend again to remove both narrator and reader from the particularity and immediacy of those individual episodes.’
    • ‘However ephemeral, they will find a way to alchemize their internalization of the event into a further manifestation, filtered through the particularity of individual consciousness.’
    • ‘Each countenance must be seen in its incommensurable particularity - in other words, as a unique beauty which cannot be replaced, substituted, or reduced to another.’
    • ‘But the meaning of his Judaism is not a simple ‘pick and choose’ as the vulgar believe, but a Jewish self that cherished its particularity and its distinctiveness.’
    • ‘They also criticize the tendency of the dominant framework to interpret harms suffered by oppressed groups as harms solely to generic individuals who have been stripped of their particularity.’
    • ‘Some indication of particularity must be there: a recognisable hill profile, a specific tree.’
    • ‘The intensity and extremity of this expansion of experience is paralleled by the deepening of communion, by which particularity and individuation are shared with others.’
    • ‘All and sundry want to be part of it though on mutually beneficial terms and all wish to be respected for whatever unique particularity they may bring to the common agenda.’
    • ‘In this sense, the sick person's body is heightened in its individual yet totalized particularity on the primal grounds of the cosmic body, the absolute container.’
    • ‘His intention was to achieve the expression of universal harmony by avoiding individualism and particularity.’
    • ‘Conversely our tragedy is that we can never know fully the other: we can never put ourselves in her place, experience her experiences, understand her in her concrete particularity, in those unique, unrepeatable situations.’
    • ‘Hence, rather than being totally obliterated by the Western consumerist forces of sameness, local difference and particularity still play an important role in creating unique cultural constellations.’
    • ‘The star is not the dissolution of individualism into death and oblivion but the freezing of particularity into an eternal image of itself.’
    • ‘In the course of each individual's perception, all things renew their particularity.’
    • ‘The state legislates, maybe even occasionally provides for the individual communities within it, but not in their particularity.’
    • ‘She actually says that ‘dance dissolves the particularity of individuals into something greater’.’
    individuality, distinctiveness, uniqueness, singularity, originality, peculiarity
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    1. 1.1 Fullness or minuteness of detail in the treatment of something.
      ‘parties must present their case with some degree of accuracy and particularity’
      • ‘The reason advanced by Braehead for the lack of particularity is that it has not had access to the detailed records that are necessary to provide full particulars.’
      • ‘In its attention to detail, particularity and relations, Confucianism comes close to the same result.’
      • ‘Even in its neglected state, in the darkness of the cafe, the mural was wonderful in its life, its rich abundance of detail, the loving particularity of the painter's eye, and its unashamed quality of telling a story.’
      • ‘Specifics are everything here: meat genealogy, breed pedigree and feed quality, the entire inventory of pointless, snobby particularity.’
      • ‘From Moore I learned the delights of particularity and precision.’
      • ‘The tendency over recent years has been to pursue with increasing sophistication a greater degree of particularity and precision.’
      • ‘The Court may well demand greater particularity where the measure being challenged is of an individual, rather than legislative, nature.’
      • ‘The exact words must be set out with reasonable certainty, clarity, particularity and precision.’
      • ‘A living will also allows a person to state with particularity the forms of treatment which are wanted and not wanted.’
      • ‘In reaching a conclusion whether the statement can be reconciled with the map, a degree of tolerance is permissible, depending upon the relative particularity and apparent accuracy with which each document is drawn.’
      • ‘The degree of particularity or detail required depends on the nature of the issues falling for decision.’
      • ‘The special history of literary transcendence is ultimately unintelligible and idiosyncratic; its meticulous particularity, a refusal of judgment.’
      • ‘We have not been shown any detailed material to demonstrate with any particularity (nor so far as we know did Forbes J enquire) when the Crown should and could have got its case together and been in a position to apply for an order.’
      • ‘Against the identity-sapping fuzziness of corporate life, Wallace pits a painstaking particularity - but detail is both the delight and downfall of these stories.’
      detail, precision, exactness, accuracy, thoroughness, scrupulousness, meticulousness
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    2. 1.2particularities Small details.
      ‘the tedious particularities of daily life’
      ‘he wanted to disregard the particularities and establish general laws’
      • ‘His situation is sad, but it does expose how family law should always work with the particularities of each case, not with abstract principles like those of ‘biological fatherhood’.’
      • ‘Each of the particularities raises its own issues, and they are not just practical difficulties - there are considerable theological ones too.’
      • ‘Although the recipes were applied to individual defendants, the particularities of each case were of little concern provided the offence fitted into a typical box.’
      • ‘Failure to attend to it often stems not from any Machiavellian wish to sanction some totalitarian outlook, but from too close attention to the blinkering particularities of specialised investigations.’
      • ‘It works its way through the particularities of where people belong and it is only once it has worked its way through those particularities that it starts to resemble the democracies in other places.’
      • ‘Art, in its highest expression, explains our existence to us, both the particularities of the artist's own time and the universals of all time, or at least of all human history.’
      • ‘Each was completely by itself in a sun-sparkled immensity of ocean, each had contours and particularities as distinctive as a face.’
      • ‘While unique in some of its particularities, her story is nevertheless also typical of the kinds of difficulties experienced by other women in the project.’
      • ‘The way in which the subject matter of AIDS is sometimes treated in embroideries may also suggest a tendency to deflect focus from the particularities of the disease and its impact.’
      • ‘Leave aside the constitutional questions and particularities of procedures to change internal rules.’
      • ‘One of the particularities of the Northern Ireland economy is that it is heavily dependent on foreign direct investment.’
      • ‘Each group experiences unique particularities while sharing common experiences under the oppression umbrella of capitalism.’
      • ‘Today we tend to see details and particularities that are not enriched by broad understanding and deep feeling.’
      • ‘It symbolizes not only her social status but also the psychological particularities of her character.’
      • ‘He has explored, too, urban images that suggest the very temperature of New York streets or capture the particularities of the City in changing seasonal light.’
      • ‘They demonstrate how such material can be presented in the context of a broader perspective or set of themes without sacrificing the character and particularities of the specific case.’
      • ‘Since the same types of aircraft are operated all over the world, these views do not reveal cultural particularities of their place of origin.’
      • ‘Post-war Europe in particular has witnessed the erasure of particularities, the inevitable march from chimney stacks to nuclear power plants.’
      • ‘By having a person teach you and guide you in your learning, he or she can address the particularities of your situation and understanding.’
      • ‘It is true that Jani's figures are not especially anchored in particularities here; and yet, neither do they float in a comfortably vague darkness.’
      feature, trait, characteristic, idiosyncrasy, peculiarity, quirk, detail, item, circumstance, point, property
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    3. 1.3Christian Theology God's incarnation as Jesus as a particular person at a particular time and place.
      • ‘Unfortunately many Christians have presumed that God's particularity in Jesus Christ is some kind of proof of divine partiality for Christian faithfulness.’
      • ‘The scandal of Christian theology, of Jesus' particularity, Keck argues, must be considered in view of Jesus' Jewishness.’
      • ‘We do need to show that we can talk without contradiction of God's universal salvific will and the scandalous particularity of the incarnate and risen Lord.’
      • ‘Here, too, first appearances may suggest that theology entails a progressive abstraction from the particularity of Jesus to some purely spiritual reality.’
      • ‘But a related reason has been the focus on the historical particularity of Jesus: Jesus the Aramaic-speaking, Jewish male of the first century.’


Early 16th century (as particularities ‘details’): from Old French particularite or late Latin particularitas, from Latin particularis ‘concerning a small part’.