one ( ones plural )
1 num One is the number 1.
They had three sons and one daughter., ...one thousand years ago..., Scotland beat England one-nil at Wembley., ...one of the children killed in the crash.
2 adj If you say that someone or something is the one person or thing of a particular kind, you are emphasizing that they are the only person or thing of that kind.
det ADJ (emphasis)
They had alienated the one man who knew the business..., His one regret is that he has never learned a language.
3 det One can be used instead of `a' to emphasize the following noun.
DET sing-n (emphasis)
There is one thing I would like to know<endash10001What is it about Tim that you find so irresistible?..., One person I hate is Russ.
4 det You can use one instead of `a' to emphasize the following adjective or expression.
INFORMAL DET adj sing-n (emphasis)
If we ever get married we'll have one terrific wedding..., It's like one enormous street carnival here.
5 det You can use one to refer to the first of two or more things that you are comparing.
Prices vary from one shop to another..., The road hugs the coast for hundreds of miles, the South China Sea on one side, jungle on the other.
One is also an adjective., adj det ADJ
We ask why peace should have an apparent chance in the one territory and not the other.
One is also a pronoun., pron
The twins were dressed differently and one was thinner than the other.
6 pron You can use one or ones instead of a noun when it is clear what type of thing or person you are referring to and you are describing them or giving more information about them.
They are selling their house to move to a smaller one..., We test each one to see that it flies well.
7 pron You use ones to refer to people in general.
We are the only ones who know.
8 pron You can use one instead of a noun group when you have just mentioned something and you want to describe it or give more information about it.
PRON of n, PRON that
His response is one of anger and frustration..., The issue of land reform was one that dominated Hungary's parliamentary elections.
9 det You can use one when you have been talking or writing about a group of people or things and you want to say something about a particular member of the group.
`A college degree isn't enough', said one honors student.
One is also a pronoun., pron
Some of them couldn't eat a thing. One couldn't even drink.
10 quant You use one in expressions such as `one of the biggest airports' or `one of the most experienced players' to indicate that something or someone is bigger or more experienced than most other things or people of the same kind.
QUANT of adj-superl
Subaru is one of the smallest Japanese car makers.
11 det You can use one when referring to a time in the past or in the future. For example, if you say that you did something one day, you mean that you did it on a day in the past.
How would you like to have dinner one night, just you and me?..., Then one evening Harry phoned, asking me to come to their flat as soon as possible.
12 pron You use one to make statements about people in general which also apply to themselves. One can be used as the subject or object of a sentence.
FORMAL If one looks at the longer run, a lot of positive things are happening..., Shares and bonds can bring one quite a considerable additional income.
13 If you say that someone is one for or is a one for something, you mean that they like or approve of it or enjoy doing it.
be one for/be a one for phrase oft with brd-neg, v-link PHR n/-ing
I'm not one for political discussions..., She was a real one for flirting with the boys.
14 You can use for one to emphasize that a particular person is definitely reacting or behaving in a particular way, even if other people are not.
for one phrase PHR before v (emphasis)
I, for one, hope you don't get the job.
15 You can use expressions such as a hundred and one, a thousand and one, and a million and one to emphasize that you are talking about a large number of things or people.
a hundred and one/a thousand and one/a million and one phrase usu PHR pl-n (emphasis)
There are a hundred and one ways in which you can raise money.
16 You can use in one to indicate that something is a single unit, but is made up of several different parts or has several different functions.
in one phrase pl-n PHR, PHR after v
...a love story and an adventure all in one..., This cream moisturises and repairs in one.
17 You use one after the other or one after another to say that actions or events happen with very little time between them.
one after the other/one after another phrase PHR with cl
My three guitars broke one after the other..., One after another, people described how hard it is for them to get medical care.
18 The one and only can be used in front of the name of an actor, singer, or other famous person when they are being introduced on a show.
the one and only phrase PHR n-proper
...one of the greatest ever rock performers, the one and only Tina Turner.
19 You can use one by one to indicate that people do things or that things happen in sequence, not all at the same time.
one by one phrase PHR with cl
We went into the room one by one..., One by one the houses burst into flames.
20 You use one or other to refer to one or more things or people in a group, when it does not matter which particular one or ones are thought of or chosen.
one or other phrase usu PHR of pl-n
One or other of the two women was wrong.
21 One or two means a few.
one or two phrase oft PHR pl-n, PHR of pl-n
We may make one or two changes..., I asked one or two of the stallholders about it.
22 If you say that someone is not oneto do something, you think that it is very unlikely that they would do it because it is not their normal behaviour.
not one to do sth phrase PHR to-inf, usu v-link PHR
I'm not one to waste time on just anyone.
23 If you try to get one up on someone, you try to gain an advantage over them.
be one up on sb phrase PHR n, usu v-link PHR, PHR after v
...the competitive kind who will see this as the opportunity to be one up on you.
one another →
one thing after another →
of one mind →
in one piece →
If something happens fromday one of a process, it happens right from the beginning. If it happens onday one, it happens right at the beginning. n-sing
This has been a bad inquiry from day one...
no one , no-one
No one means not a single person, or not a single member of a particular group or set. pron usu PRON v
Everyone wants to be a hero, but no one wants to die..., No one can open mail except the person to whom it has been addressed.
number one ( number ones plural )
1 adj Number one means better, more important, or more popular than anything else of its kind.
INFORMAL ADJ n
The economy is the number one issue by far..., By the way, I'm your number-one fan.
2 n-count In popular music, the number one is the best selling CD in any one week, or the group or person who has made that CD.
INFORMAL Paula is the only artist to achieve four number ones from a debut album.
one-armed bandit ( one-armed bandits plural ) A one-armed bandit is the same as a fruit machine. n-count
1 adj If someone describes a town as a one-horse town, they mean it is very small, dull, and old-fashioned.
ADJ n (disapproval)
Would you want to live in a small, one-horse town for your whole life?
2 adj If a contest is described as a one-horse race, it is thought that one person or thing will obviously win it.
He described the referendum as a one-horse race...
one-liner ( one-liners plural ) A one-liner is a funny remark or a joke told in one sentence, for example in a play or comedy programme.
The book is witty and peppered with good one-liners.
1 adj A one-man performance is given by only one man rather than by several people.
I saw him do his one-man show in London, which I loved.
2 adj A one-man organization, such as a business or type of government is controlled by one person, rather than by several people.
It has grown from a one-man business to a multi-million dollar business with close to $10 million in assets..., He established one-man rule in his country seven months ago.
one-man band ( one-man bands plural ) Aone-man band is a street entertainer who wears and plays a lot of different instruments at the same time. n-count
one-night stand ( one-night stands plural ) A one-night stand is a very brief sexual relationship, usually one that is casual and perhaps only lasts one night.
You use one-of-a-kind to describe something that is special because there is nothing else exactly like it.
(mainly AM) adj ADJ n
...a small one-of-a-kind publishing house.
one-off ( one-offs plural )
1 n-count You can refer to something as a one-off when it is made or happens only once.
Our survey revealed that these allergies were mainly one-offs.
2 adj A one-off thing is made or happens only once.
(mainly BRIT) ADJ n
...one-off cash benefits.
A one-on-one situation, meeting, or contest involves only two people. adj usu ADJ n
...a one-on-one therapy session.
One-on-one is also an adverb., adv ADV after v
Talking one-on-one with people is not his idea of fun.
One-on-one is also a noun., n-sing oft N with n
Holloway was beaten in a one-on-one with Miklosko just before half-time.
one-parent family ( one-parent families plural ) A one-parent family is a family that consists of one parent and his or her children living together. n-count
Many children are now born into or raised in one-parent families.
one-piece ( one-pieces plural )
1 adj A one-piece article of clothing consists of one piece only, rather than two or more separate parts.
...a blue one-piece bathing suit.
2 n-count A one-piece is a type of woman's swimming costume that consists of one piece of material and which covers her chest.
A one-piece is more flattering than a bikini.
1 det Speakers and writers use one's to indicate that something belongs or relates to people in general, or to themselves in particular.
...a feeling of responsibility for the welfare of others in one's community...
2 One's can be used as a spoken form of `one is' or `one has', especially when `has' is an auxiliary verb.
No one's going to hurt you. No one. Not any more..., I think one's got to consider all the possibilities.
1 adj If you say that an activity or relationship is one-sided, you think that one of the people or groups involved does much more than the other or is much stronger than the other.
The negotiating was completely one-sided...
2 adj If you describe someone as one-sided, you are critical of what they say or do because you think it shows that they have considered only one side of an issue or event., (disapproval)
There has been a very one-sided account of her problems with Ted.
A one-stop shop is a place where you can buy everything you need for a particular purpose. adj ADJ n
A marvellous discovery for every bride-to-be, The Wedding Centre is the ultimate one-stop shop.
one-time , onetime
One-time is used to describe something such as a job, position, or role which someone used to have, or something which happened in the past. (JOURNALISM) adj ADJ n
The legislative body had voted to oust the country's onetime rulers.
1 adj In a one-to-one relationship, one person deals directly with only one other person.
...one-to-one training., ...negotiating on a one-to-one basis.
One-to-one is also an adverb., adv ADV after v
She would like to talk to people one to one.
2 adj If there is a one-to-one match between two sets of things, each member of one set matches a member of the other set.
In English, there is not a consistent one-to-one match between each written symbol and each distinct spoken sound.
If you refer to someone's behaviour as one-upmanship, you disapprove of them trying to make other people feel inferior in order to make themselves appear more important. n-uncount oft supp N (disapproval)
1 adj In one-way streets or traffic systems, vehicles can only travel along in one direction.
He zoomed through junctions without stopping and sped the wrong way down a one-way street.
2 adj One-way describes journeys which go to just one place, rather than to that place and then back again.
usu ADJ n
The trailers will be rented for one-way trips...
3 adj A one-way ticket or fare is for a journey from one place to another, but not back again.
(mainly AM) usu ADJ n
(=single) (Antonym: return)
...a one-way ticket from New York to Los Angeles.
One-way is also an adverb., adv ADV after v
Unrestricted fares will be increased as much as $80 one-way.
in BRIT, usually use single
4 adj If you say that a course of action is a one-way ticket to a place or situation, or is a one-way journey there, you are sure that it will lead to the place or situation mentioned.
It seemed like a one-way ticket to riches, but then it all went wrong...
5 adj One-way glass or a one-way mirror is a piece of glass which acts as a mirror when looked at from one side, but acts as a window when looked through from the other side. They are used for watching people without their knowledge.
usu ADJ n
6 If you describe an agreement or a relationship as a one-way street, you mean that only one of the sides in the agreement or relationship is offering something or is benefitting from it.
one-way street phrase
The experience of the last 10 years has shown that, for the Eurosceptics, loyalty is a one-way street; something you demand but do not give..., So trade between the two nations has been something of a one-way street, with Cuba deriving the benefit.
A one-woman performance or business is done by only one woman, rather than by several people. adj ADJ n
She has already presented a one-woman show of her paintings.