Advertisement
5070 entries found
Search filter: All Results 
one (adj., pron., n.)

"being but a single unit or individual; being a single person, thing, etc. of the class mentioned;" as a pronoun, "a single person or thing, an individual, somebody;" as a noun, "the first or lowest of the cardinal numerals; single in kind, the same; the first whole number, consisting of a single unit; unity; the symbol representing one or unity;" c. 1200, from Old English an (adjective, pronoun, noun) "one," from Proto-Germanic *ainaz (source also of Old Norse einn, Danish een, Old Frisian an, Dutch een, German ein, Gothic ains), from PIE root *oi-no- "one, unique."

Originally pronounced as it still is in only, atone, alone, and in dialectal good 'un, young 'un, etc.; the now-standard pronunciation "wun" began c. 14c. in southwest and west England (Tyndale, a Gloucester man, spells it won in his Bible translation), and it began to be general 18c. Its use as indefinite pronoun was influenced by unrelated French on and Latin homo.

Before the name of a person, indicating "hitherto unknown" or not known to the speaker.

One and only "sweetheart" is from 1906. Slang one-arm bandit for a type of slot machine is recorded by 1938. One-night stand is 1880 in performance sense; 1963 in sexual sense. One of the boys "ordinary amiable fellow" is from 1893. One-track mind "mind capable of only one line of thought or action" is by 1915. Drinking expression one for the road is from 1950 (as a song title). One-man band is by 1909 in a literal sense, 1914 figurative. One of those things "unpredictable occurrence" is from 1934.

The conscience clause is one of the weaknesses of the Bill. It is one of those things which tend to create the bitterness. The conscience clause is one of those things which are inseparable from a Bill like this. It is one of those things which divides the sheep from the goats—members can pick them out for themselves—in the playground, in the school. ["Religious Exercises in School Bills," New Zealand Parliamentary Debates, Aug. 13, 1926]
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
one-liner (n.)

"short joke, witty remark," by 1951, from one + line.

Related entries & more 
one-time (adj.)

"that was, former," by 1850, from one + time (n.).

Related entries & more 
one-act (adj.)

of a play, "consisting of a single act," 1888, from one + act (n.).

Related entries & more 
one-of-a-kind (adj.)

"unique," 1961, from the adverbial phrase; see one + kind (n.).

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
one-off (n.)

"single example of a manufactured product," by 1927, from one + off. Later given figurative extension.

Related entries & more 
one-sided (adj.)

1833, "dealing with one side only of a question or dispute," hence, "partial, unjust, unfair," from one + side (n.). Translating German ein-seitiger. Related: One-sidedly; one-sidedness.

Related entries & more 
one-shot (adj.)
1907, "achieved in a single attempt" (original reference is to golf), from one + shot (n.). Meaning "happening or of use only once" is from 1937.
Related entries & more 
-one 
chemical suffix, from Greek -one, female patronymic (as in anemone, "daughter of the wind," from anemos); in chemical use denoting a "weaker" derivative. Its use in forming acetone (1830s) gave rise to the specialized chemical sense.
Related entries & more 
one-stop (adj.)

1914, of airplane flights, "making a single stop along the way," from one + stop (n.). Of commercial establishments, "able to supply all of a customer's needs," by 1931. 

Related entries & more