Definition of individual noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˌɪndɪˈvɪdʒuəl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌɪndɪˈvɪdʒuəl//
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  1. 1  a person considered separately rather than as part of a group The competition is open to both teams and individuals. Treatment depends on the individual involved. donations from private individuals (= ordinary people rather than companies, etc.) The school’s reputation was ruined by the bad behaviour of a few individuals. the rights of the individual
  2. 2a person who is original and very different from others She's grown into quite an individual.
  3. 3(informal, usually disapproving) a person of a particular type, especially a strange one an odd-looking individual So this individual came up and demanded money.
  4. Word Originlate Middle English (in the sense ‘indivisible’): from medieval Latin individualis, from Latin individuus, from in- ‘not’ + dividuus ‘divisible’ (from dividere ‘to divide’).Extra examples Although individuals vary widely, the bones of the average female skeleton are smaller and lighter than the male. Each course has to be tailored to the needs of the individual. Eating habits are bound to vary from individual to individual. He was carrying out his functions as a trustee in the course of his business, rather than as a private individual. His philosophy is about becoming aware of oneself as an autonomous individual. His writings are concerned with religious phenomena at the individual level. It’s up to the individual concerned to contact the police. No single individual had done so much for the development of the motor vehicle. She had taken a group of individuals and made them into a superb team. She saw the artist as a unique individual, possessing a heightened awareness of reality. Society does not consist of isolated individuals, but people in a network of relationships. The average individual watches around three hours of television per day. The book recommends that you sign ‘Yours sincerely’ if you are sending the letter to a named individual. The motives influencing a particular individual may change from time to time. The needs of the community outweigh those of any single individual. The teacher should treat each pupil as an individual. Their research shows that the average individual watches around three and a half hours of television per day. We know that all human individuals are unique. We welcome applications from suitably qualified individuals. a group of like-minded individuals accusations of racism against named individuals donations from wealthy individuals the issue of the freedom of the individual versus the intervention of the state The ballot papers could easily fall into the hands of an unscrupulous individual. The school’s reputation is being ruined by the bad behaviour of a few individuals. This scruffy-looking individual wandered into the office.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: individual

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