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[wuhn-wey] /ˈwʌnˈweɪ/
moving, or allowing movement in one direction only:
a one-way street.
valid for travel in one direction only:
a one-way ticket.
Compare round trip.
without a reciprocal feeling, responsibility, relationship, etc.:
It's a one-way friendship.
not intended for return to a seller, dealer, etc., for reuse; disposable:
one-way bottles.
Origin of one-way
First recorded in 1815-25 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for one-way
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And “the one-way trail” is the trail over which there is no returning.

    The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum
  • Unfortunately, at that distance, the connection was one-way.

    Earthmen Bearing Gifts Fredric Brown
  • The one-way trip is an easy day's journey from Glacier Point.

    Guide to Yosemite Ansel Hall
  • A one-way rocket to the moon and he tells me the toughest part's over.

    First on the Moon Jeff Sutton
  • Nearly 90% of its weight was fuel, for the one-way trip to Mars.

    Atom Drive Charles Louis Fontenay
British Dictionary definitions for one-way


moving or allowing travel in one direction only: one-way traffic
entailing no reciprocal obligation, action, etc: a one-way agreement
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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Word Origin and History for one-way

1906, in reference to travel tickets; 1914 in reference to streets; 1940 in reference to windows, mirrors, etc.; from one + way.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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