one-armed bandit

or onearm bandit

[ wuhn-ahrmd ]
/ ˈwʌnˌɑrmd /

noun Informal.


Nearby words

  1. one up,
  2. one way or another,
  3. one's,
  4. one-a-cat,
  5. one-acter,
  6. one-bagger,
  7. one-base hit,
  8. one-dimensional,
  9. one-down,
  10. one-eighty

Origin of one-armed bandit

An Americanism dating back to 1935–40

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for one-armed bandit

one-armed bandit

noun

a fruit machine operated by pulling down a lever at one side
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-armed bandit

one-armed bandit

A slot machine, as in It's amazing how many people think they can make money playing a one-armed bandit. This term refers to both appearance and function: the operating lever looks like an arm, and the machine in effect robs players, since it “wins” and keeps the player's money in an overwhelming majority of instances. [c. 1930]

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