individual (adj.) Look up individual at
early 15c., "one and indivisible, inseparable" (with reference to the Trinity), from Medieval Latin individualis, from Latin individuus "indivisible," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + dividuus "divisible," from dividere "divide" (see divide). Original sense now obsolete; the word was not common before c. 1600 and the 15c. example might be an outlier. Sense of "single, separate, of but one person or thing" is from 1610s; meaning "intended for one person" is from 1889.
individual (n.) Look up individual at
"single object or thing," c. 1600, from individual (adj.). Meaning "a single human being" (as opposed to a group, etc.) is from 1640s. Colloquial sense of "person" is attested from 1742. Latin individuum as a noun meant "an atom, indivisible particle," and in Middle English individuum was used in sense of "individual member of a species" (early 15c.).