- a single organism capable of independent existence.
- a member of a compound organism or colony.
Origin of individual
- a single animal or plant, esp as distinct from a species
- a single member of a compound organism or colony
- Also called: particularan object as opposed to a property or class
- an element of the domain of discourse of a theory
Word Origin for individual
"single object or thing," c.1600, from individual (adj.). Colloquial sense of "person" is attested from 1742. Latin individuum meant "an atom, indivisible particle;" in Middle English individuum was used in sense of "individual member of a species" from early 15c.
early 15c., "one and indivisible" (with reference to the Trinity), from Medieval Latin individualis, from Latin individuus "indivisible," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + dividuus "divisible," from dividere "divide" (see divide). Not common before c.1600 and the 15c. usage might be isolated. Sense of "single, separate" is 1610s; meaning "intended for one person" is from 1889.