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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
in•di•vid•u•al /ˌɪndəˈvɪdʒuəl/USA pronunciation
n. [countable]WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
adj. [before a noun]
- a single human being, as distinguished from a group:the freedom of each individual.
- a person:Several unidentified individuals approached the speaker.
in•di•vid•u•al•ly, adv.: individually wrapped pieces of chocolate.
- single; particular;
separate:each individual child.
- intended for the use of one person only:individual portions.
- of or characteristic of a particular person or thing:individual tastes.
(in′də vij′o̅o̅ əl), n.
- a single human being, as distinguished from a group.
- a person:a strange individual.
- a distinct, indivisible entity; a single thing, being, instance, or item.
- a group considered as a unit.
- a single organism capable of independent existence.
Games[Cards.]a duplicate-bridge tournament in which each player plays the same number of hands in partnership with every other player, individual scores for each player being kept for each hand.
- a member of a compound organism or colony.
separate:to number individual copies of a limited edition.
- intended for the use of one person only:to serve individual portions of a pizza.
- of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a particular person or thing:individual tastes.
- distinguished by special, singular, or markedly personal characteristics; exhibiting unique or unusual qualities:a highly individual style of painting.
- existing as a distinct, indivisible entity, or considered as such;
discrete:individual parts of a tea set.
- of which each is different or of a different design from the others:a set of individual coffee cups.
2 . See person.
1, 2 . As a synonym for person, individual is standard, occurring in all varieties of speech and writing:Three individuals entered the room, each carrying a sheaf of papers.Some object to this use, insisting that individual can mean only "a single human being, as distinguished from a group'':An individual may have concerns that are ignored by his or her party.
- Medieval Latin indīviduālis, equivalent. to Latin indīvidu(us) indivisible (in- in-3 + dīvid(ere) to divide + -uus deverbal adjective, adjectival suffix) + -ālis -al1
- late Middle English 1375–1425
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
individual /ˌɪndɪˈvɪdjʊəl/ adj
- of, relating to, characteristic of, or meant for a single person or thing
- separate or distinct, esp from others of its kind; particular: please mark the individual pages
- characterized by unusual and striking qualities; distinctive
- obsolete indivisible; inseparable
Etymology: 15th Century: from Medieval Latin indīviduālis, from Latin indīviduus indivisible, from in-1 + dīviduus divisible, from dīvidere to divideˌindiˈvidually adv
- a single person, esp when regarded as distinct from others
- a single animal or plant, esp as distinct from a species
'individuals' also found in these entries: