An individual is a person or a specific object. Individuality (or selfhood) is the state or quality of being an individual; a person separate from other persons and possessing his or her own needs or goals.
From the 15th century and earlier, and also today within the fields of statistics and metaphysics, individual meant "indivisible", typically describing any numerically singular thing, but sometimes meaning "a person." (q.v. "The problem of proper names"). From the seventeenth century on, individual indicates separateness, as in individualism.
Famous quotes containing the word individual:
“Parents find many different ways to work their way through the assertiveness of their two-year-olds, but seeing that assertiveness as positive energy being directed toward growth as a competent individual may open up some new possibilities.”
—Fred Rogers (20th century)
“The power of generalizing ideas, of drawing comprehensive conclusions from individual observations, is the only acquirement, for an immortal being, that really deserves the name of knowledge.”
—Mary Wollstonecraft (17591797)
“Behind every individual closes organization; before him opens liberty,the Better, the Best. The first and worse races are dead. The second and imperfect races are dying out, or remain for the maturing of the higher. In the latest race, in man, every generosity, every new perception, the love and praise he extorts from his fellows, are certificates of advance out of fate into freedom.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)