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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
one /wʌn/USA pronunciation
adj. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
[before a noun]
the first and lowest whole number, being a cardinal number; a unit:Ten minus nine leaves one.
a symbol of this number, as 1 or I.
a single person or thing:Let's do one at a time.
a one-dollar bill.
(used to stand for a person or thing of a number or kind that is about to be indicated):He is one of the Elizabethan poets.
(used to stand for a person or thing that has just been mentioned or indicated, or is already understood from the context):The portraits are good ones.
a person, or a personified being:Satan, the evil one.
any person or thing; people in general:One shouldn't cry over spilled milk (= People in general, including the speaker, shouldn't get upset about things that can't be fixed.)
- being or amounting to a single unit or individual or entire thing;
equal to the number 1:one child; only one piece of cake left.
- being an individual instance, example, or member of a number, kind, or group indicated:one member of the team.
- of the same or having a single kind, nature, or condition:We are of one mind.
- (used to refer to an unspecified or imprecise day or time):one evening last week.
- [before a proper noun or name] (used to name a person otherwise unknown or not yet described):One John Smith was chosen.
- [before a singular countable noun] being a particular or only individual, item, or unit:She's the one person I can trust.
- (used to show strong feeling about the noun or adjective that follows) a or an:That is one smart dog.
- all one, the same:You can stay or go; it's all one to me. (= It doesn't matter to me which action you take.)
- with complete agreement;
unanimously:They voted as one.
- all at the same time; in unison:We rose to our feet as one.
- united in thought or feeling;
attuned:to feel at one with the world.
- Idiomsone and all, everyone.
- Idiomsone by one, singly and following after another.
the first and lowest whole number, being a cardinal number;
- being or amounting to a single unit or individual or entire thing, item, or object rather than two or more;
a single:one woman; one nation;
one piece of cake.
- being a person, thing, or individual instance or member of a number, kind, group, or category indicated:one member of the party.
- existing, acting, or considered as a single unit, entity, or individual.
- of the same or having a single kind, nature, or condition:We belong to one team; We are of one resolve.
- noting some indefinite day or time in the future:You will see him one day.
- a certain (often used in naming a person otherwise unknown or undescribed):One John Smith was chosen.
- being a particular, unique, or only individual, item, or unit:I'm looking for the one adviser I can trust.
- noting some indefinite day or time in the past:We all had dinner together one evening last week.
- of no consequence as to the character, outcome, etc.; the same:It's all one to me whether they go or not.
a symbol of this number, as 1 or I.
a single person or thing:If only problems would come one at a time!
a die face or a domino face having one pip.
a one-dollar bill:to change a five-dollar bill for five ones.
Philosophy(cap.)[Neoplatonism.]the ultimate reality, seen as a central source of being by whose emanations all entities, spiritual and corporeal, have their existence, the corporeal ones containing the fewest of the emanations.
- in a state of agreement; of one opinion.
Idiomsone and all, everyone:They came, one and all, to welcome him home.
Idiomsone by one, singly and successively:One by one the children married and moved away.
Idiomsone for the road. See road (def. 8).
a person or thing of a number or kind indicated or understood:one of the Elizabethan poets.
(in certain pronominal combinations) a person unless definitely specified otherwise:every one.
(with a defining clause or other qualifying words) a person or a personified being or agency:the evil one; the one I love.
any person indefinitely;
- united in thought or feeling;
attuned:He felt at one with his Creator.
anyone:as good as one would desire.
British Terms[Chiefly Brit.](used as a substitute for the pronoun I):Mother had been ailing for many months, and one should have realized it.
a person of the speaker's kind; such as the speaker himself or herself:to press one's own claims.
something or someone of the kind just mentioned:The portraits are fine ones. Your teachers this semester seem to be good ones.
something available or referred to, esp. in the immediate area:Here, take one—they're delicious. The bar is open, so have one on me!
Etymology:bef. 900; Middle English oon, Old English ān;
One as an indefinite pronoun meaning "any person indefinitely, anyone'' is more formal than you, which is also used as an indefinite pronoun with the same sense:One(or you) should avoid misconceptions. One (or you) can correct this fault in three ways. When the construction requires that the pronoun be repeated, either one or he or he or she is used;
cognate with Dutch een, German ein, Gothic ains, Latin ūnus (Old Latin oinos);
akin to Greek oínē ace on a die
he or he or she is the more common in the United States:Wherever one looks, he(or he or she) finds evidence of pollution. In speech or informal writing, a form of they sometimes occurs:Can one read this without having their emotions stirred?In constructions of the type one of those who (or that or which), the antecedent of who is considered to be the plural noun or pronoun, correctly followed by a plural verb:He is one of those people who work for the government.Yet the feeling that one is the antecedent is so strong that a singular verb is commonly found in all types of writing:one of those people who works for the government.When one is preceded by only in such a construction, the singular verb is always used:the only one of her sons who visits her in the hospital.The substitution of one for I, a typically British use, is usually regarded as an affectation in the United States. See also he1, they.
a suffix used in the names of ketones and analogous chemical compounds:lactone; quinone.
Etymology:perh. Greek -ōnē feminine patronymic
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
one /wʌn/ determiner
- single; lone; not two or more
- (as pronoun): one is enough for now, one at a time
- (in combination): one-eyed, one-legged
- distinct from all others; only; unique: one girl in a million
- (as pronoun): one of a kind
- a specified (person, item, etc) as distinct from another or others of its kind: raise one hand and then the other
- (as pronoun): which one is correct?
- a certain, indefinite, or unspecified (time); some: one day you'll be sorry
an emphatic word for a, an1: it was one hell of a fight
- a certain (person): one Miss Jones was named
- in one, all in one ⇒ combined; united
- all one ⇒ all the same
- of no consequence: it's all one to me
- at one ⇒ (often followed by with) in a state of agreement or harmony
- be made one ⇒ (of a man and a woman) to become married
- many a one ⇒ many people
- neither one thing nor the other ⇒ indefinite, undecided, or mixed
- never a one ⇒ none
- one and all ⇒ everyone, without exception
- one by one ⇒ one at a time; individually
- one or two ⇒ a few
- one way and another ⇒ on balance
- one with another ⇒ on average
- an indefinite person regarded as typical of every person: one can't say any more than that
- any indefinite person: used as the subject of a sentence to form an alternative grammatical construction to that of the passive voice: one can catch fine trout in this stream
- archaic an unspecified person: one came to him
- the smallest whole number and the first cardinal number; unity
- a numeral (1, I, i, etc) representing this number
- informal a joke or story (esp in the one about)
- something representing, represented by, or consisting of one unit
- Also called: one o'clock one hour after noon or midnight
- a blow or setback (esp in the phrase one in the eye for)
- the Holy One, the One above ⇒ God
- the Evil One ⇒ Satan; the devil
Related prefixes: mono-, uni-Etymology: Old English ān, related to Old French ān, ēn, Old High German ein, Old Norse einn, Latin unus, Greek oinē ace
'one thousand' also found in these entries: