one

One refers to a single person or thing, as well as the number one. If you’re looking for a whole number between zero and two, you can only find one.

One is all alone, but it at least it gets to be the first in line. It also gets to be the one and only, far and away the best, and one of a kind. If something (or someone) is "the one" you’ve been looking for, it’s exactly what you want. Sometimes one actually refers to more than one person being united in some way; if you and your friend are of "one mind," you think alike about something.

Primary Meanings of one

1.
nadj
the smallest whole number or a numeral representing this number
used of a single unit or thing; not two or more
2.
adj
used informally as an intensifier
3.
adj
indefinite in time or position
Full Definitions of one
1

n the smallest whole number or a numeral representing this number

“he has the one but will need a two and three to go with it”
“they had lunch at one
Synonyms:
1, I, ace, single, unity
Types:
monad, monas
a singular metaphysical entity from which material properties are said to derive
singleton
a single object (as distinguished from a pair)
fellow, mate
one of a pair
Type of:
digit, figure
one of the elements that collectively form a system of numeration

n a single person or thing

“he is the best one
“this is the one I ordered”
Type of:
unit
a single undivided whole

adj used of a single unit or thing; not two or more

Synonyms:
1, ane, i
cardinal
being or denoting a numerical quantity but not order

adj having the indivisible character of a unit

“spoke with one voice”
Synonyms:
unitary
united
characterized by unity; being or joined into a single entity

adj of the same kind or quality

“two animals of one species”
Synonyms:
same
closely similar or comparable in kind or quality or quantity or degree

adj being a single entity made by combining separate components

“three chemicals combining into one solution”
Synonyms:
combined
made or joined or united into one
2

adj used informally as an intensifier

“that is one fine dog”
Synonyms:
extraordinary
beyond what is ordinary or usual; highly unusual or exceptional or remarkable

adj eminent beyond or above comparison

“she's one girl in a million”
“the one and only Muhammad Ali”
Synonyms:
matchless, nonpareil, one and only, peerless, unmatchable, unmatched, unrivaled, unrivalled
incomparable, uncomparable
such that comparison is impossible; unsuitable for comparison or lacking features that can be compared
3

adj indefinite in time or position

“he will come one day”
one place or another”
Synonyms:
indefinite
vague or not clearly defined or stated

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.