1) being or amounting to a single unit or individual or entire thing:
one child; one piece of cake[/ex]
2) being an individual instance or member of a number, kind, or group indicated:
one member of the party[/ex]
3) existing, acting, or considered as a single unit or entity
4) of the same or having a single kind, nature, or condition:
of one mind[/ex]
5) denoting an unspecified day or time:
one evening last week[/ex]
6) denoting some indefinite day or time in the future:
You'll see him one day[/ex]
7) a certain (used in naming a person otherwise unknown or not described):
One John Smith was chosen[/ex]
8) being a particular, unique, or only individual, item, or unit:
the one person I can trust[/ex]
9) of no consequence as to the character, outcome, etc.; the same:
It's all one to me[/ex]
10) a or an (used with intensifying force):
That is one smart dog[/ex]
11) the first and lowest whole number, being a cardinal number; unity
12) a symbol of this number, as 1 or I
13) a single person or thing:
one at a time[/ex]
14) cvb a one-dollar bill
15) a person or thing of a number or kind indicated or understood:
one of the Elizabethan poets[/ex]
16) a person or a personified being:
the evil one[/ex]
17) any person or thing indefinitely; anyone or anything:
as good as one could desire[/ex]
18) something or someone of the kind just mentioned:
The portraits are good ones[/ex]
19) cvb fun brit. Chiefly Brit. (used as a substitute for the pronoun I):
Mother had been ill, and one should have realized it[/ex]
Etymology: bef. 900; ME oon, OE ān; c. OFris ān, ēn, OHG, G ein, ON einn, L unus one, Gk oínē ace on a die usage: one meaning “any person indefinitely” is more formal than you, in the same sense: One (or you) should never give up hope. When the pronoun must be repeated, either one or a personal pronoun is used; the latter is more common in the U.S.: Wherever one looks, he or she finds industrial pollution. In speech or informal writing, a form of they often occurs: Can one read this without thinking of their own childhood? In the construction one of those who (or that or which), the antecedent of who is considered to be the plural form, correctly followed by a plural verb: one of those people who find fault. Yet so strong is the feeling for one as antecedent that a singular verb is commonly found in all types of writing: one of those people who finds fault. When one is preceded by only in such a construction, the singular verb is called for: the only one of her sons who visits her. See also he I, they.

From formal English to slang. 2014.

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