one-man show

Also, one-man band. A person who does or manages just about everything, as in This department is a one-man show—the chairman runs it all, or John conducts the interviews, writes the articles, solicits ads, deals with the printer—he's a one-man band. This idiom alludes to the actor or artist responsible for the entire performance or exhibit, or the musician who plays every instrument in the group. [First half of 1900s]


Nearby words

  1. one-legged,
  2. one-liner,
  3. one-lung,
  4. one-lunger,
  5. one-man,
  6. one-many,
  7. one-night stand,
  8. one-nighter,
  9. one-note,
  10. one-of-a-kind

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

Examples from the Web for one-man show

  • Of course I shall sell them next year fast enough, after my one-man-show; but while the grass grows the steed starves.

    The Doctor's Dilemma|George Bernard Shaw
  • I shall have a one-man-show next season; and then there will be no more money troubles.

    The Doctor's Dilemma|George Bernard Shaw