one


one
1 /wVn/ number
1 the number one: one hundred and twenty one pounds (-121) | The answer is on page forty-one. | Can I have one coffee and two milkshakes please?
2 one or two a small number of people or things: There are one or two things to sort out before I leave.
3 in ones and twos if people do something in ones and twos they do it on their own or in small groups: Guests arrived in ones and twos.
4
a) AmE a one dollar bill
b) BrE a one pound coin
5 for one thing spoken used to introduce the first of several reasons: You can't see in that fridge, for one thing the light's gone and for another the button's broken.
6 one-armed/one-eyed/one-legged etc having only one arm, eye, leg etc
2 determiner
1 a person or thing, especially when there are other people or things of the same type or kind: Sam's just heard that one of his houses has caught fire. | If there's one thing I can't stand it's people who bite their nails. | There's one person I really must thank.
2 one day/afternoon/year etc
a) a particular day, afternoon etc in the past: We first met one cloudy day last July. | One morning I was sitting at my desk when a policeman knocked at my door.
b) any day, afternoon etc at any time in the future: One evening you and I should go out for a drink.
3 sb's one fear/worry/concern etc someone's main fear, worry etc: My one fear is that her nerves will get the better of her.
4 the one man/place etc the only man, place etc: Claire is the one person I can trust. | I'm sorry madam, we've only the one ticket left.
5 used to talk about one person or thing in comparison with other similar or connected people or things: It's impossible to tell one child from another in that family. | One of the gang broke into the safe while the other was keeping watch. | It's one thing . . . but . . .: It's one thing passing your driving test but being a good driver is another.
6 formal used before the name of someone who you do not know well: It seems the inheritance went to an old family friend, one Joseph Nelson.
7 one wonderful woman/one interesting job etc spoken especially AmE a very wonderful woman, a very interesting job etc: Hey, your brother is one amazing guy!
8 one by one/one after another if people do something one by one, first one person does it, then the next, then the next etc: One by one each soldier approached the coffin and gave a final salute.
9 I/John etc for one used to emphasize that you are doing something, believe something etc and hope others will do the same: If they continue to abuse civil rights, I for one will be boycotting any food they produce.
10 (all) in one if someone or something is many different things all in one, they are all of those things: She's president, secretary and treasurer all in one.
11 be one up (on sb) to have an advantage over someone
—see also: one­upmanship
12 put one over on sb informal to trick someone: No one's going to put one over on me!
13 get one over on sb informal to get an advantage over someone: The easiest way to get one over on bullies is to answer them back.
14 the one and only informal used to emphasize that someone is very famous: “That wasn't George Best I saw you talking to, was it?” “The one and only!”
15 be at one with sb/sth
a) to feel very calm or relaxed because of the calm situation or environment you are in: a weekend in the country, when you can feel at one with nature
b) formal to agree with someone about something:
16
a) be as one formal to agree about something: The whole committee is as one on this - no women are allowed on the golf course.
b) as one if many people do something as one they all do it at the same time: The whole team stood up as one and marched out of the room.
17 got it in one! spoken used to say that someone has guessed correctly: “You're not painting the house again are you?” “Got it in one!”
18 have one for the road informal to have an alcoholic drink, especially the last one before you leave a place
19 you are/he is a one old-fashioned especially BrE used to tell someone that they are being rude, foolish etc: The patient in the end bed is a real one, I can tell you.
—see also: one­to­one 3 pronoun plural ones
1 used instead of a noun that has already been mentioned or which the person you are talking to already knows about: I've always wanted a CD player and I've just saved enough money to buy one. | The train was crowded so we decided to catch a later one. | the one that/who/which etc: Soufflés are so hard to cook. Why is it that the ones I make always sink? | this one/that one/these ones/those ones: I'll take that one, the one with all the chocolate on top.
2 formal used when you mean you 1 (2), especially when you do not mean any one person in particular: One asks oneself where children learn to behave so badly.
3 the one about ... especially spoken a joke or humorous story: Have you heard the one about the dog that thought it was a cat?
4 a ... one a particular kind of problem, question, story etc: “Excuse me, can you tell me the way to the bank?” “Oh, that's a hard one, it's either the second or the third road on the left.”
5 not be one to do sth/not be one who does sth informal to never do a particular thing, especially something that annoys people: I'm never one to complain, as you know, but I do think you could come and visit me more often.
6 be one for informal to enjoy doing a particular sport, subject etc: I've never been (a great) one for watersports.
7 one and the same the same person or thing: Muhammad Ali and Cassius Clay are one and the same.
8 one and all old-fashioned everyone: The bride was welcomed by the family, one and all.
9 be one of the family/the boys to be accepted as a member of a particular group of people: It took me a while to settle in but I just feel like one of the family now.
10 one of us especially spoken used to say that someone is a member of the same group that you are in and has the same ideas, beliefs etc: You can talk in front of Terry - he's one of us.
11 the little/young ones humorous or old-fashioned children, especially young children
USAGE NOTE: ONE FORMALITY One meaning `people in general' is very formal. Most people usually use you with the same meaning. Compare: One can do what one likes here. | You can do what you like here. You use one instead of repeating a noun phrase in both spoken and written English: The reason is basically an economic one. You can use ones when two adjectives are used to compare things, but it is best to avoid this in formal written English: He buys German rather than British cars (formal).| He buys German cars rather than British ones (informal).

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

Synonyms:

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