Individual. The atom or unit as or distinguished from the special or
general. Indeed individual is the exact Latin equivalent to the Greek
ἄτομος that which cannot be cut, but has never been used so far as I am
aware to denote the material atom. It means that which cannot be
logically divided, but if maimed or deprived of its integrity can only
be so by fraction. John is well or John is ill must mean the individual
John, not part of him; but John may have his leg cut off, the
individual remaining still John.
The vulgar use of this word, as synonymous with
person, human being, is always to be avoided.
In the seventeenth century individual
sometimes bore the sense of
not to be put asunder, indissoluble. Thus Milton:
eternity shall greet our bliss
Lines on a Clock.