Share this entry

Share this page

individualism

Syllabification: in·di·vid·u·al·ism
Pronunciation: /ˌindəˈvij(o͞o)əˌlizəm
 
/

Definition of individualism in English:

noun

1The habit or principle of being independent and self-reliant.
Example sentences
  • The common thread that binds Americans stems from their individualism, self-reliance, independence, courage to take risks and readiness to challenge the impossible.
  • And Scandinavians are almost 100% Protestant too - which fits with a spirit of independence and individualism.
  • Self-reliance and individualism can be made meaningful for all only by first reviving the power of collective action.
1.1Self-centered feeling or conduct; egoism.
Example sentences
  • Pride, a religious term for unbridled individualism, threatens the welfare of an orderly community.
  • But this requires a degree of intellectual self-renunciation which is incompatible with individualism.
  • Under the shiny surface there's homelessness, ignorance, insane people on the streets, hypocrisy, a certain coldness and strong individualism in people in general.
2A social theory favoring freedom of action for individuals over collective or state control.
Example sentences
  • Under the heading ‘liberty’ the charter states: ‘We believe in individualism more than social determinism.’
  • The original Western nineteenth-century route to modernization was associated with laissez-faire capitalism, individualism, and democracy.
  • One set of beliefs expresses the commitment of a democratic society to the liberal values of justice, individualism, egalitarianism and freedom of expression.

Derivatives

individualist

1
noun& adjective
Example sentences
  • They are loners and individualists who reject activism.
  • In one sense he was an individualist, a great eccentric.
  • Regardless of what the New Testament says, most Christians are individualists with no real experience of community.

Definition of individualism in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day resilient
Pronunciation: rɪˈzɪlɪənt
adjective
able to recoil or spring back into shape…