Share this entry

monad Line breaks: monad
Pronunciation: /ˈmɒnad/

Definition of monad in English:


1A single unit; the number one.
Example sentences
  • His most visually splintered work raises what is in part a political question: what holds these linguistic monads together?
  • Pollen grains are packaged into polyads of 32 associated monads, more than enough to fertilize the ovules of an individual flower.
  • Pollen grains may be released as monads, tetrads or polyads.
1.1 Philosophy (In the philosophy of Leibniz) an indivisible and hence ultimately simple entity, such as an atom or a person.
Example sentences
  • An artwork then, when seen as one of Leibniz's monads, is its own universe but its perspective is within the larger totality of society in which the other artworks reside and refer.
  • Now a partless, or indivisible entity does not necessarily have to be infinitesimal: souls, individual consciousnesses, and Leibnizian monads all supposedly lack parts but are surely not infinitesimal.
  • Engels sees this process of the endless movement of crowds as emblematic of the dissolution of humankind into a race of monads, of individuals reduced to selfish atoms in a world of atoms.
1.2 Biology , dated A single-celled organism, especially a flagellate protozoan, or a single cell.
Example sentences
  • We may then suppose that the ancestral form was a monad with a theca which, in some progeny, assumed the form found in the Apusozoa.


Early 17th century: via late Latin from Greek monas, monad- 'unit', from monos 'alone'.



Pronunciation: /mɒˈnadɪk/
Example sentences
  • What ultimately undermines the presentation of these seemingly monadic fragments of a stable Cartesian subjectivity in this text is its material referent - the place memorialised as the location of writing.
  • Traditionally qualia have regarded as intrinsic, private, ineffable monadic features of experience, but current theories of qualia often reject at least some of those commitments.
  • Communication is each monadic individual reaching beyond the limits of their self-enclosed individual existence of I = I.


Pronunciation: /ˈmɒnədɪz(ə)m/
noun ( Philosophy )
Example sentences
  • The same physical qualities characterize the kind of subjectivity that we would name, variously, Cartesian monadism, Enlightenment individualism or autonomous egotism.
  • Rejecting Leibnizian monadism, he favoured the Cartesian doctrine that the universe is filled with a continuous ethereal fluid.

Words that rhyme with monad


Definition of monad in:

Share this entry


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 innocuous
Pronunciation: ɪˈnɒkjʊəs
not harmful or offensive