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one-on-one

[wuhn-on-wuhn, -awn-]
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adjective
  1. consisting of or involving direct individual competition, confrontation, or communication; person-to-person: a one-on-one discussion.
adverb
  1. in direct encounter: I'd rather settle this with her one-on-one.
noun
  1. a meeting or confrontation between two persons.
Idioms
  1. 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for one on one

one-on-one

adjective
  1. denoting a relationship or encounter in which someone is involved with only one other persona 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

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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.