- 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
- denoting a relationship or encounter in which someone is involved with only one other persona one-on-one meeting
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]