one [ wʌn ] function word ***
One can be used in the following ways:
as a number:
We have only one child.
How much does one pound of apples cost?
as a determiner:
He grew roses on one side of his garden, and vegetables on the other.
We'll meet again one day.
as a pronoun (the plural of this pronoun is ones and the possessive is one's):
It's a good book, but his last one was better.
One has to trust one's family.
They are the ones who suffered. (followed by of ):
Sydney is one of the world's most exciting cities.
1. ) number the number 1:
I've only got one hour free.
They have one daughter and five sons.
Over one hundred people were killed in the disaster.
It was a one-story building with big windows.
2. ) a single person or thing used for referring to a single person or thing when there are others of the same type:
I bought three T-shirts. Do you want one?
One passenger said she had been waiting for 13 hours.
I heard of one case where a 12-year-old boy had been sent to prison.
one of: Ours was one of the top four boats in the competition.
One of the buildings was badly damaged in the fire.
I met one of her brothers when he was here on business.
just the one: How many books did she borrow? Just the one.
3. ) used for referring to things used for referring to something when that type of thing has already been mentioned or when it is obvious what type of thing you are talking about:
It was a problem, but not a major one.
I'm only using this radio until I can buy a better one.
Mr. Linden's experiences with his son are ones that are shared by countless other parents.
the one/ones: I'm going to keep those boxes. The ones I want to get rid of are in the garage.
this one/that one: I'd never seen a game like that one.
a ) used for referring to a particular joke, comment, idea, or question:
You want me to say how much freedom students should have? That's a tricky one.
the one about (=the joke about someone or something): Did you hear the one about the American who goes into a bar in Paris?
4. ) used for referring to people used for referring to someone when they have been mentioned before or when it is obvious which person you are talking about:
the one/ones: David and I are the only ones left who are not married.
They were all dealing drugs, but Bob was the one who got caught.
Who is the one with the beard?
a ) people of a particular type:
the young/smart/lucky etc. ones: The smart ones always come out on top.
b ) FORMAL used instead of someone :
I speak as one who has seen much suffering.
5. ) used instead of you in general statements MAINLY BRITISH FORMAL used instead of you when you are making a statement about people in general, which also applies to yourself:
Why, one may ask, would someone want to burn down their own house?
One cannot be sure what lies ahead.
6. ) the only the only person or thing of a particular type:
the one: She found herself in the one spot that gave her no shelter from the rain.
We're going to have to play the one team we did not want to play.
a ) used for emphasizing that something is someone's only hope, disappointment, fear, etc.:
the one: The one disappointment we had was that we didn't get to shake hands with the President.
someone's one hope/fear/concern etc.: My one hope is that more people with disabilities will enter into professions like social work.
7. ) used for emphasis used for emphasizing a particular fact, person, or thing:
There's one thing you can be sure of you won't get any help from the government.
One person who won't be invited is that awful man who lives downstairs.
a ) INFORMAL used for emphasizing that someone or something is a particular type of person or thing:
He's one proud man, I'll tell you.
8. ) used for comparison used for mentioning the first of two or more similar people or things, especially when you are comparing them:
one...the other: She lay on the sofa with a glass in one hand and an empty bottle in the other.
If you love both children, I don't understand why you give so much to one and not the other.
one...another: He could not tell the difference between one flower and another.
9. ) used before someone's name FORMAL used before someone's name when you do not know them or have not met them before:
I borrowed the money from one Edward Ashley.
10. ) a drink INFORMAL a glass of alcoholic drink:
Do you have time for a quick one before you go?
(all) in one
used for saying that someone or something can do many different things at the same time:
She's a receptionist, accountant, and salesperson in one.
as one
used for saying that the people in a group do the same thing in the same way at the same time:
The whole Congress rose to their feet as one, clapping and cheering.
at one with
1. ) in agreement with someone:
The Republicans were at one with the Democrats on this issue.
2. ) happy and relaxed in your environment:
Here in the mountains I feel totally at one with nature.
to be in agreement about something
be/get one up on someone INFORMAL
to have or get an advantage over someone, usually by being better than they are at something
be one for (doing) something
to like or enjoy something very much:
Helen is always one for a good party.
I've never been a great one for playing games.
be one of the boys/girls/family
to be accepted as a part of a group of people:
He just wants to be one of the boys, so he's very friendly to everyone at work.
for one
used for emphasizing that someone is thinking or behaving in a particular way, even if other people are not:
I for one do not like the idea of trying to sell second-rate goods.
for one thing
used when mentioning one reason for something as an example, when there are several reasons:
A lot of people don't really read contracts. For one thing, they're not written so anyone could understand them!
have one too many OFTEN HUMOROUS
to drink too much alcohol
a hundred/thousand/million etc. and one
used for emphasizing that there are a very large number of people or things:
There are still a thousand and one things I need to do before we leave.
in ones and twos
used for saying that people do things alone or in small groups:
People were arriving in ones and twos.
it takes one to know one SPOKEN
used for saying that someone must have a bad quality themselves if they can recognize it in other people:
He's a complete idiot! Well, it takes one to know one!
little/young ones OLD-FASHIONED
not be one to do something
to not be the type of person who would do a particular thing:
Martin's not one to talk too much about his work.
one after another or one after the other
used for saying that actions are done or things happen with very little time between them:
They got married young and had four children one after another.
one and all FORMAL
I'd like to thank you one and all for all your help.
the one and only
used for introducing a famous person or for saying that someone is very famous:
Their manager is Danny Bennett, the son of the one and only Tony Bennett.
one and the same
used for emphasizing that two or more names or descriptions refer to the same person or thing:
Are you saying that your cousin Alessandro and my friend Alex are one and the same?
one by one
first one, then the next, then the next, etc., separately:
Add the eggs one by one, stirring as you do so.
one day/night/year etc.
1. ) on a particular day/night/year etc. in the past:
When Sam failed to appear one evening, my worry increased.
2. ) on any day/night/year etc. in the future:
She knew that one day she'd get married.
one of the biggest/best/most beautiful etc.
used when you are saying that someone or something is bigger/better/more beautiful etc. than most other people or things of the same type:
He took us all out to dinner at one of the best Japanese restaurants in town.
He was one of the most talented actors I've ever worked with.
one of us SPOKEN
used for saying that someone is considered as a member of the same group that you belong to, for example because they are in the same social class or have the same opinions:
He's an able politician, but he's not one of us.
one or two
a small number of people or things:
Carla said she had one or two ideas of her own.
There are one or two other major companies that are interested in working with us.

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

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