Meaning of ONE in English

transcription, транскрипция: [ wʌn ]

( ones)

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.


One is the number 1.

They had three sons and one daughter. thousand years ago...

Scotland beat England one-nil at Wembley. of the children killed in the crash.



If you say that someone or something is the one person or thing of a particular kind, you are emphasizing that they are the only person or thing of that kind.

They had alienated the one man who knew the business...

His one regret is that he has never learned a language.

= only

ADJ : det ADJ [ emphasis ]


One can be used instead of ‘a’ to emphasize the following noun.

There is one thing I would like to know–What is it about Tim that you find so irresistible?...

One person I hate is Russ.

DET : DET sing-n [ emphasis ]


You can use one instead of ‘a’ to emphasize the following adjective or expression. ( INFORMAL )

If we ever get married we’ll have one terrific wedding...

It’s like one enormous street carnival here.

DET : DET adj sing-n [ emphasis ]


You can use one to refer to the first of two or more things that you are comparing.

Prices vary from one shop to another...

The road hugs the coast for hundreds of miles, the South China Sea on one side, jungle on the other.

DET : DET sing-n

One is also an adjective.

We ask why peace should have an apparent chance in the one territory and not the other.

ADJ : det ADJ

One is also a pronoun.

The twins were dressed differently and one was thinner than the other.



You can use one or ones instead of a noun when it is clear what type of thing or person you are referring to and you are describing them or giving more information about them.

They are selling their house to move to a smaller one...

We test each one to see that it flies well.



You use ones to refer to people in general.

We are the only ones who know.



You can use one instead of a noun group when you have just mentioned something and you want to describe it or give more information about it.

His response is one of anger and frustration...

The issue of land reform was one that dominated Hungary’s parliamentary elections.

PRON : PRON of n , PRON that


You can use one when you have been talking or writing about a group of people or things and you want to say something about a particular member of the group.

‘A college degree isn’t enough’, said one honors student.

DET : DET sing-n

One is also a pronoun.

Some of them couldn’t eat a thing. One couldn’t even drink.



You use one in expressions such as ‘ one of the biggest airports ’ or ‘ one of the most experienced players ’ to indicate that something or someone is bigger or more experienced than most other things or people of the same kind.

Subaru is one of the smallest Japanese car makers.

QUANT : QUANT of adj-superl


You can use one when referring to a time in the past or in the future. For example, if you say that you did something one day , you mean that you did it on a day in the past.

How would you like to have dinner one night, just you and me?...

Then one evening Harry phoned, asking me to come to their flat as soon as possible.

one day: see day

DET : DET sing-n


You use one to make statements about people in general which also apply to themselves. One can be used as the subject or object of a sentence. ( FORMAL )

If one looks at the longer run, a lot of positive things are happening...

Shares and bonds can bring one quite a considerable additional income.



If you say that someone is one for or is a one for something, you mean that they like or approve of it or enjoy doing it.

I’m not one for political discussions...

She was a real one for flirting with the boys.

PHRASE : oft with brd-neg , v-link PHR n / -ing


You can use for one to emphasize that a particular person is definitely reacting or behaving in a particular way, even if other people are not.

I, for one, hope you don’t get the job.

PHRASE : PHR before v [ emphasis ]


You can use expressions such as a hundred and one , a thousand and one , and a million and one to emphasize that you are talking about a large number of things or people.

There are a hundred and one ways in which you can raise money.

PHRASE : usu PHR pl-n [ emphasis ]


You can use in one to indicate that something is a single unit, but is made up of several different parts or has several different functions.

...a love story and an adventure all in one...

This cream moisturises and repairs in one.

PHRASE : pl-n PHR , PHR after v


You use one after the other or one after another to say that actions or events happen with very little time between them.

My three guitars broke one after the other...

One after another, people described how hard it is for them to get medical care.

PHRASE : PHR with cl


The one and only can be used in front of the name of an actor, singer, or other famous person when they are being introduced on a show. of the greatest ever rock performers, the one and only Tina Turner.

PHRASE : PHR n-proper


You can use one by one to indicate that people do things or that things happen in sequence, not all at the same time.

We went into the room one by one...

One by one the houses burst into flames.

PHRASE : PHR with cl


You use one or other to refer to one or more things or people in a group, when it does not matter which particular one or ones are thought of or chosen.

One or other of the two women was wrong.

PHRASE : usu PHR of pl-n


One or two means a few.

We may make one or two changes...

I asked one or two of the stallholders about it.

PHRASE : oft PHR pl-n , PHR of pl-n


If you say that someone is not one to do something, you think that it is very unlikely that they would do it because it is not their normal behaviour.

I’m not one to waste time on just anyone.

PHRASE : PHR to-inf , usu v-link PHR


If you try to get one up on someone, you try to gain an advantage over them.

...the competitive kind who will see this as the opportunity to be one up on you.

PHRASE : PHR n , usu v-link PHR , PHR after v


one another: see another

one thing after another: see another

of one mind: see mind

in one piece: see piece

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.