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[wuhn-on-wuhn, -awn-] /ˈwʌn ɒnˈwʌn, -ɔn-/
consisting of or involving direct individual competition, confrontation, or communication; person-to-person:
a one-on-one discussion.
in direct encounter:
I'd rather settle this with her one-on-one.
a meeting or confrontation between two persons.
go one-on-one with, Sports. to play directly against (an opposing player).
Origin of one-on-one
An Americanism dating back to 1965-70 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for one on one


denoting a relationship or encounter in which someone is involved with only one other person: a one-on-one meeting
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for one on one

one on one

adverb phrase

In immediate confrontation; person to person; eyeball to eyeball, mano a mano: I go on the basketball court and have a 15-year-old guy beat me one on one/ John Rhodes was very effective, one-on-one (1967+)

noun phrase

: have a one-on-one with him

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with one on one

one on one

A direct encounter between two persons, especially a conflict, as in The two department heads went one on one regarding shelf space. This slangy expression almost certainly comes from sports. It is commonly used to refer to a two-person basketball game, but is also applied to the interaction of two players on opposing teams in football, soccer, and similar team sports. [ c. 1960 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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