one

adjective
\ ˈwən How to pronounce one (audio) \

Definition of one

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : being a single unit or thing one day at a time She is one year old.
2a : being one in particular early one morning The Grand Canyon is one place I'd like to visit.
b : being preeminently what is indicated one fine person She is one tough teacher.
3a : being the same in kind or quality both of one species "Puma" and "cougar" are different names for one animal.
b(1) : constituting a unified entity of two or more components The combined elements form one substance.
(2) : being in agreement or union am one with you on this
4a : some sense 1 will see you again one day
b : being a certain individual specified by name one John Doe made a speech
5 : only sense 2a the one person she wanted to marry

one

noun

Definition of one (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : the first whole number above zero — see Table of Numbers
2 : the number denoting unity
3a : the first in a set or series often used with an attributive noun day one
b : an article of clothing of a size designated one wears a one
4 : a single person or thing has the one but needs the other
5 : a one-dollar bill
at one
: at harmony : in a state of agreement
for one
: as one example I for one disagree

one

pronoun

Definition of one (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : a certain indefinitely indicated person or thing saw one of his friends
2a : an individual of a vaguely indicated group : anyone at all one never knows
b used as a third person substitute for a first person pronoun I'd like to read more but one doesn't have the time.
3 : a single instance of a specified action felt like belting him one— John Casey

Definition of -one (Entry 4 of 4)

: ketone or related or analogous compound or class of compounds lactone quinone

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for one

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Using One as a Pronoun: Usage Guide

Pronoun

Sense 2a is usually a sign of a formal style. A formal style excludes the participation of the reader or hearer; thus one is used where a less formal style might address the reader directly. for the consequences of such choices, one has only oneself to thank — Walker Gibson This generic one has never been common in informal use in either British or American English, and people who start sentences with one often shift to another pronoun more natural to casual discourse. when one is learning the river, he is not allowed to do or think about anything else — Mark Twain Use of one to replace a first-person pronoun—sense 2b—has occasionally been criticized. It is more common in British English than in American. I'm watching this pretty carefully and I hope that the issue will come up in the Lords and one may be able to speak about it — Donald Coggan

Examples of one in a Sentence

Adjective There is one minute left in the game. I have a few one-dollar bills in my purse. She is one year old. Noun one, two, three, four, … I don't have any ones. Can you break a five? I'll be there at one. Pronoun “I'll have an iced tea, please.” “I'll have one, too.” Their dog died, but they plan to get another one. “You should wear the blue one.” “The one with the stripes?” “No, the other one.” I'd like to see the ring next to that one. Which one did you like better? He is the one who called the police. That's one possible answer—but not the only one. I would like to read more, but one doesn't have the time.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Drinkwater didn't make one appearance in a Chelsea shirt last season, whilst Bakayoko spent the season in Italy on loan at AC Milan. SI.com, "Chelsea Set to Entertain Offers for Out of Favour Midfield Pair Ahead of Transfer Deadline," 3 Aug. 2019 Decisions made by engineers today, in other words, will determine not how one car drives but how all cars drive. Johannes Himmelreich, BostonGlobe.com, "The everyday moral challenges of self-driving cars," 30 Mar. 2018 Decisions made by engineers today, in other words, will determine not how one car drives but how all cars drive. Johannes Himmelreich, Smithsonian, "The Ethical Challenges Self-Driving Cars Will Face Every Day," 27 Mar. 2018 Drinkwater didn't make one appearance in a Chelsea shirt last season, whilst Bakayoko spent the season in Italy on loan at AC Milan. SI.com, "Chelsea Set to Entertain Offers for Out of Favour Midfield Pair Ahead of Transfer Deadline," 3 Aug. 2019 Decisions made by engineers today, in other words, will determine not how one car drives but how all cars drive. Johannes Himmelreich, BostonGlobe.com, "The everyday moral challenges of self-driving cars," 30 Mar. 2018 Decisions made by engineers today, in other words, will determine not how one car drives but how all cars drive. Johannes Himmelreich, BostonGlobe.com, "The everyday moral challenges of self-driving cars," 30 Mar. 2018 Decisions made by engineers today, in other words, will determine not how one car drives but how all cars drive. Johannes Himmelreich, BostonGlobe.com, "The everyday moral challenges of self-driving cars," 30 Mar. 2018 Decisions made by engineers today, in other words, will determine not how one car drives but how all cars drive. Johannes Himmelreich, BostonGlobe.com, "The everyday moral challenges of self-driving cars," 30 Mar. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While this rocket is on its way out, another one is hurtling back from space now and is expected to make a splash this weekend. Rashika Jaipuriar, The Indianapolis Star, "As a Chinese rocket falls to Earth, here's how you could view a rocket launch tonight," 8 May 2021 Don’t know what pampering your loved one is missing? oregonlive, "Last-minute Mother’s Day ideas, spa certificates, subscription boxes, Lululemon, gifts under $100," 6 May 2021 Our first one dropped in December of 2020 and was called Boot Camp, which was a play on recruiting the artists to join my Cyclops Army—a continuation of my Facebook fan group. Lisa Kocay, Forbes, "Exclusive Premiere: Subtronics Drops Heavy Bass Heater ‘Resist’ With Ace Aura," 6 May 2021 But the bigger point here, another obvious one, is that not all draft picks are the same. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Is the talent gap between Michigan football and Ohio State football actually that big?," 5 May 2021 But if Huizong’s political legacy was fairly unequivocally disastrous, his cultural one was very impressive. Washington Post, "A master of art, a disaster on throne," 5 May 2021 Each unit will offer 250 vaccines at a site in and around Tucson for three days before moving to another one. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Class pets, weed boom, school robots: News from around our 50 states," 5 May 2021 Great for mini fridges or just smaller sections of your main one, the mDesign Plastic Kitchen Food Storage Bins are a smart purchase. Chris Hachey, BGR, "Best Refrigerator Organizer," 4 May 2021 Most of the performers on this album were on his previous one, and the music yearns to reach new heights without taking any risks. Sheldon Pearce, The New Yorker, "The Empty Blockbuster Music of DJ Khaled," 4 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'one.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of one

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Pronoun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for one

Adjective, Noun, and Pronoun

Middle English on, an, from Old English ān; akin to Old High German ein one, Latin unus (Old Latin oinos), Sanskrit eka

Noun suffix

International Scientific Vocabulary, alteration of -ene

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about one

Time Traveler for one

Time Traveler

The first known use of one was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for one

Cite this Entry

“One.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/one. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for one

one

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of one

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: having the value of 1
used to refer to a single person or thing
used before a noun to indicate that someone or something is part of a group of similar people or things

one

noun

English Language Learners Definition of one (Entry 2 of 3)

: the number 1
US : a one-dollar bill
: one o'clock

one

pronoun

English Language Learners Definition of one (Entry 3 of 3)

: that person or thing
: someone or something that is a part of a particular group
somewhat formal : people in general : any person

one

adjective
\ ˈwən How to pronounce one (audio) \

Kids Definition of one

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : being a single unit or thing There's one catch.
2 : being a certain unit or thing He arrived early one morning.
3 : being the same in kind or quality All the members of one class will sit together.
4 : not specified We'll meet again one day.

one

noun

Kids Definition of one (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : the number denoting a single unit : 1
2 : the first in a set or series
3 : a single person or thing

one

pronoun

Kids Definition of one (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a single member or individual I met one of your friends.
2 : any person One never knows what will happen.

More from Merriam-Webster on one

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for one

Nglish: Translation of one for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of one for Arabic Speakers

Comments on one

What made you want to look up one? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!