one by one


Also, one at a time. Individually in succession, as in The ducklings jumped into the pond one by one, or One at a time they went into the office. Formerly also put as one and one and one after one, this idiom dates from about a.d. 1000.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.