individualism

[ in-duh-vij-oo-uh-liz-uh m ]
/ ˌɪn dəˈvɪdʒ u əˌlɪz əm /

noun

a social theory advocating the liberty, rights, or independent action of the individual.
the principle or habit of or belief in independent thought or action.
the pursuit of individual rather than common or collective interests; egoism.
individual character; individuality.
an individual peculiarity.
Philosophy.
  1. the doctrine that only individual things are real.
  2. the doctrine or belief that all actions are determined by, or at least take place for, the benefit of the individual, not of society as a whole.

Origin of individualism

First recorded in 1825–35; individual + -ism

OTHER WORDS FROM individualism

o·ver·in·di·vid·u·al·ism, nounsu·per·in·di·vid·u·al·ism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for individualism

British Dictionary definitions for individualism

individualism
/ (ˌɪndɪˈvɪdjʊəˌlɪzəm) /

noun

the action or principle of asserting one's independence and individuality; egoism
an individual quirk or peculiarity
another word for laissez faire (def. 1)
philosophy the doctrine that only individual things exist and that therefore classes or properties have no realityCompare Platonism, realism (def. 5)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for individualism

individualism

A view that stresses the importance and worth of each person. In economics, it is the doctrine that individuals best serve the public interest by pursuing their own self-interest. For example, the businessman who expands his company to increase his profits also creates jobs for many people and thereby serves the public interest. (See laissez-faire.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.