in·di·vidu·al·ism AW [individualism individualisms] BrE [ˌɪndɪˈvɪdʒuəlɪzəm] NAmE [ˌɪndɪˈvɪdʒuəlɪzəm] noun uncountable
1. the quality of being different from other people and doing things in your own way
• She owes her success to her individualism and flair.
2. the belief that individual people in society should have the right to make their own decisions, etc, rather than be controlled by the government
• Capitalism stresses innovation, competition and individualism.
Derived Words: individualist ▪ individualistic
See also: individualist
1. the quality of being individual
- so absorbed by the movement that she lost all sense of individuality
Syn: individuality, individuation
Ant: commonality (for: individuality)
2. a belief in the importance of the individual and the virtue of self-reliance and personal independence
Syn: laissez faire
Webster's 1913 Dictionary:
|1.||The quality of being individual; individuality; personality.|
|2.||An excessive or exclusive regard to one's personal interest; self-interest; selfishness.|
The selfishness of the small proprietor has been described by the best writers as individualism.
|3.||The principle, policy, or practice of maintaining individuality, or independence of the individual, in action; the theory or practice of maintaining the independence of individual initiative, action, and interests, as in industrial organization or in government.|
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