- One is a single person, unit or thing or the first number in a counting series.
- An example of a one is a single man.
- An example of a one is the number before two when counting.
There is only one man in this picture.
- being a single thing or unit; not two or more
- characterized by unity; forming a whole; united; undivided: with one accord
- designating a person or thing as contrasted with or opposed to another or others: from one day to another
- being uniquely or strikingly the person or thing specified: the one solution to the problem
- single in kind; the same: all of one mind
- designating a single, but not clearly specified, person or thing; a certain [one day last week]: also used as an intensive substitute for the indefinite article [she's one beautiful girl]
Origin of oneMiddle English ; from Old English an, akin to German ein, Gothic ains ; from Indo-European an unverified form oinos (from source Classical Greek oinē, Classical Latin unus, Old Irish ōen) ; from an unverified form e-, an unverified form ei-, prefixed pronominal stem meaning “the, this, this one”
- the number expressing unity or designating a single unit: the lowest cardinal number and the first used in counting a series; 1; I
- a single person or thing
- something numbered one or marked with one pip, as the face of a die or domino
- ☆ Informal a one-dollar bill
- some, or a certain, person or thing: one of us must go
- any person or thing; anybody or anything [when one is exhausted, it is wise to rest]: sometimes used affectedly in place of a personal pronoun in the first or second person: what else could one do?
- the person or thing previously mentioned: they rent a house, but I own one
one and all
one by one
one of those things
- ketone: acetone
- any of certain related compounds containing oxygen: lactone
Origin of -onearbitrary use of Classical Greek -ōnē, used to signify a female descendant of
- Being a single entity, unit, object, or living being: I ate one peach.
- Characterized by unity; undivided: They spoke with one voice.
- a. Of the same kind or quality: two animals of one species.b. Forming a single entity of two or more components: three chemicals combining into one solution.
- Being a single member or element of a group, category, or kind: I'm just one player on the team.
- Being a single thing in contrast with or relation to another or others of its kind: One day is just like the next.
- Occurring or existing as something indefinite, as in time or position: He will come one day.
- Occurring or existing as something particular but unspecified, as in time past: late one evening.
- Informal Used as an intensive: That is one fine dog.
- Being the only individual of a specified or implied kind: the one person I could marry; the one horse that can win this race.
- The cardinal number, represented by the symbol 1, designating the first unit in a series.
- A single person or thing; a unit: This is the one I like best. Of her many books, the best ones are the last two.
- A one-dollar bill.
- An indefinitely specified individual: She visited one of her cousins.
- An unspecified individual; anyone: “The older one grows the more one likes indecency” (Virginia Woolf).
Origin of oneMiddle English on, from Old English ān; see oi-no- in Indo-European roots. Usage Note: In formal usage, the pronoun one is sometimes used as a generic pronoun meaning “anyone”: One would hope that train service could be improved. The informal counterpart of one is you: You never know what to expect from her. Trouble arises when one is used in a series of sentences, and there is a need for a relative pronoun to refer back to one. One option is to use one and one's repeatedly, as in One tries to be careful about where one invests one's money. But in a sequence of sentences this inevitably becomes tedious. A traditional alternative has been to use he, him, and his: One tries to be careful about his investments. This has the drawback of raising the specter of gender bias. Because of these problems, the temptation may arise to switch to you, but this will undoubtedly be distracting to the reader. It is better to use the same generic pronoun throughout. • As a generic pronoun, one should be avoided as the direct object of a verb or a preposition, especially if it comes at the end of the sentence. Thus the sentence Bad dreams can make one restless may sound stilted, but One must not tease the bears or they will attack one sounds almost ungrammatical. As a subject or in the possessive form, one fares much better. One should be cordial with one's colleagues sounds somewhat formal, but is acceptable. • When constructions headed by one appear as the subject of a sentence or relative clause, there may be a question as to whether the verb should be singular or plural. The sentence One of every ten rotors was found defective is perfectly grammatical, but sometimes people use plural verbs in such situations, as in One of every ten rotors have defects. The Usage Panel has a long tradition of preferring singular verbs in such constructions. In our 1964 survey, 92 percent of the Panel preferred the singular verb in such sentences; in 2001, 99 percent preferred was found defective in the example quoted above. • Constructions such as one of those people who pose a different problem. Some critics argue that who should be followed by a plural verb in these sentences, as in He is one of those people who just don't take “no” for an answer. Their thinking is that the relative pronoun who refers to the plural noun people, not to one. They would extend the rule to constructions with inanimate nouns, as in The sports car turned out to be one of the most successful products that were ever manufactured in this country. But the use of the singular verb in these constructions is common, even among the best writers, and the Usage Panel has a long history of division on this matter. In our 1965 survey, 42 percent of the Usage Panel accepted the use of the singular verb in such constructions. Nearly forty years later the Panel's opinion was almost unchanged: in 2001, 40 percent rejected were in the sports car example quoted above. Perhaps the only workable solution to this problem lies in which word sounds most appropriate as the antecedent of the relative pronoun—one or the plural noun in the of phrase that follows it. Note also that when the phrase containing one is introduced by the definite article, the verb in the relative clause must be singular: He is the only one of the students who has (not have) already taken Latin. • Constructions using one or more or one or two always take a plural verb: One or more cars were parked in front of the house each day this week. One or two students from our department have won prizes. Note that when followed by a fraction, one ordinarily gets a plural verb: One and a half years have passed since I last saw her. The fraction rule has an exception in that amounts are sometimes treated as singular entities: One and a half cups is enough sugar. Note also that the plural rule does not apply to these one-plus-a-fraction constructions that are introduced by the indefinite article. These constructions are always singular: A year and a half has passed since I last saw her. See Usage Note at he 1.Word History: Why do we pronounce one (wŭn) and once (wŭns) while other words derived from one, like only, alone, and atone, are pronounced with a long o? Over time, stressed vowels commonly become diphthongs, as when Latin bona, the feminine singular of the adjective meaning “good,” became buona in Italian and buena in Spanish. A similar diphthongization of one and once began in the late Middle Ages in the west of England and in Wales and is first recorded around 1400. The vowel sound underwent a series of changes, such that the word's pronunciation went from (ōn) to (&oomac;ōn), with two syllables, to (wōn) to (w&oomac;n) to (w&oobrev;n) and finally to (wŭn). In southwest England, this diphthongization happened to other words beginning with the long o sound, such as oats, pronounced there now as (wŭts). Only in one and once did this diphthongal pronunciation gain widespread usage.
- A ketone: acetone.
- A chemical compound containing oxygen, especially in a carbonyl group: lactone.
Origin of -oneProbably from Greek -ōnē, feminine patronymic suff.
(possessive one's, plural ones)
- (impersonal pronoun) One thing (among a group of others); one member of a group.
- The big one looks good. I want the green one. A good driver is one who drives carefully.
- (impersonal pronoun, sometimes with "the") The first mentioned of two things or people, as opposed to the other.
- She offered him an apple and an orange; he took one and left the other.
- (indefinite personal pronoun) Any person (applying to people in general).
- One shouldn't be too quick to judge. One's guilt may trouble one, but it is best not to let oneself be troubled by things which cannot be changed.
- (pronoun) Any person, entity or thing.
- driver, noun: one who drives.
- (mathematics) The neutral element with respect to multiplication in a ring.
- The digit or figure 1.
- (US) A one-dollar bill.
- (cricket) One run scored by hitting the ball and running between the wickets; a single.
- A joke or amusing anecdote.
- (Internet slang, leetspeak, sarcastic) Used instead of ! to amplify an exclamation, imitating unskilled users who forget to press the shift key while typing exclamation points.
- A: SUM1 Hl3p ME im alwyz L0ziN!!?!
- B: y d0nt u just g0 away l0zer!!1!!one!!one!!eleven!!1!
- (colloquial) A particularly special or compatible person or thing.
- Of a period of time, being particular; as, one morning, one year.
- One day the prince set forth to kill the dragon that had brought terror to his father's kingdom for centuries.
- Being a single, unspecified thing; a; any.
- My aunt used to say, "One day is just like the other."
- Sole, only.
- He is the one man who can help you.
- Whole, entire.
- Body and soul are not separate; they are one.
- In agreement.
- We are one on the importance of learning.
- The same.
- The two types look very different, but are one species.
- Being a preeminent example.
- He is one hell of a guy.
- Being an unknown person with the specified name.
- The town records from 1843 showed the overnight incarceration of one “A. Lincoln".
(third-person singular simple present ones, present participle oning, simple past and past participle oned)
- (obsolete) To cause to become one; to gather into a single whole; to unite.
From Middle English one, oon, on, oan, an, from Old English Än ("one"; same word as an), from Proto-Germanic *ainaz (“one"), from Proto-Indo-European *Ã³ynos (“single, one"). Cognate with Scots ae, ane, wan, yin (“one"); North Frisian Ã¥n (“one"); Saterland Frisian aan (“one"); West Frisian ien (“one"); Dutch een, Ã©Ã©n (“one"); German Low German een; German ein, eins (“one"); Swedish en (“one"); Icelandic einn (“one"); Latin unus (“one") (Old Latin oinos); Russian Ð¾Ð´Ð¸Ð½ (odin).
Probably Ancient Greek -ÏŒÎ½Î· (-onÄ“)