Share this entry

Share this page

individualism

Line breaks: in¦di|vidu¦al|ism
Pronunciation: /ɪndɪˈvɪdjʊ(ə)lɪz(ə)m
 
/

Definition of individualism in English:

noun

[mass noun]
1The habit or principle of being independent and self-reliant: a culture that celebrates individualism and wealth
More 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.
Synonyms
1.1Self-centred 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 favouring freedom of action for individuals over collective or state control: encouragement has been given to individualism, free enterprise, and the pursuit of profit
More 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.
Synonyms
free spirit, individual, nonconformist, unorthodox person, unconventional person, original, eccentric, bohemian, maverick, rare bird, rarity;
Latinrara avis
British informal one-off, loner

Definition of individualism in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day ingratiate
Pronunciation: ɪnˈɡreɪʃɪeɪt
verb
bring oneself into favour with someone through flattery…