Are there any words that have this meaning? One of many, as in a person out of many people.

Clarification: The single individual or item is similar to the group and not unique in any way.

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    Do you mean that the one is the same as the many, or different?
    – Lawrence
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 17:22
  • 2
    It would be helpful to have a sample sentence where you want to use the word or words in question. As it stands, I'm not sure if you mean the person is one of a group and is similar to the group, or if they stand out as being different from the group. Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 17:24
  • @Lawrence same, similar and not unique.
    – Aziz
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 17:39
  • A clone, perhaps?
    – Lawrence
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 17:47
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    At present you haven't said if you're looking for a noun (such as pleb) or an adjective (such as ordinary). You also haven't said if you're looking for something purely descriptive or rather something evaluative (like pleb). Or if they are the same as others because they follow trends (a sheep or follower) or for some other reason. These are among at the reasons why a sample sentence would be so useful. Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 18:19

5 Answers 5


Specimen - An individual animal, plant, piece of a mineral, etc. used as an example of its species or type for scientific study or display.

'Carla could not help feeling a degree of reluctant admiration for this odd female specimen'



Depending on context, the word clone might suit. One of the definitions given in the Oxford Dictionary online is:


1.1 A person or thing regarded as an exact copy of another.

‘guitarists who are labelled Hendrix clones’

(Whatever a Hendrix may be.)

However it is a neologism, and I would not advise its use in formal writing.

Another possibility (again reflecting my scientific background) is instance.


1 An example or single occurrence of something.

‘the search finds every instance where the word appears’

  • Thanks but I'm not looking for a word that describes identification copies.
    – Aziz
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 17:51
  • @Aziz — so you are after something that would indicate a member of a population. There will be technical terms for different fields (e.g. protomer in protein structure), but all I can think of in general use are idioms (e.g. man in the street, face in the crowd).
    – David
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 17:57

I'm not sure if this is the context you mean it in, but in the network communication sense, the word you are looking for is "Anycast".

A unicast communication is a message from one person to one person. (one to one)

A broadcast communication is a message from one person to all people. (one to all)

A multicast communication is a message from one person to all members of a group of people. (one to many)

An anycast communication is a message from one person to a single member of a group of people. (one of many)

Another way of describing it is what is sometimes referred to as a phone number to a "hunt group". For instance, if I need to speak to someone in support, I can call the support "hunt group" and it will direct the call to a single member of the entire support group. If that member is unavailable, it will direct my phone call to another single member of the entire support group.

  • If this isn't the right context, then hopefully the above will help provide some more context in phrasing what you are actually looking for.
    – Eddie
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 18:05

As I understand the question I prefer the noun select or selected depending on the situation. My dictionary says the definition of selected is; to choose in preference to another or others; pick out.


The closest definition to this word that I have found is humility. I think that I understand what the question is... As in, an employee among employees, a friend among friends, a civilian among civilians, not seeking to be better than or less than or separate from others, but just one among many. I personally don't think that humility is the best definition, but it's the closest one that I have found.

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    Welcome to ELU. Please read the question and the answers so far. Although humility may be a characteristic of "one of many", it's not a word for that one person, which is what is asked for.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 22:00

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