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one-man show

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Definition of 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]

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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.

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