moving, or allowing movement in one direction only: a one-way street.
valid for travel in one direction only: a one-way ticket.Compare round trip.
without a reciprocal feeling, responsibility, relationship, etc.: It's a one-way friendship.
not intended for return to a seller, dealer, etc., for reuse; disposable: one-way bottles.

Origin of one-way

First recorded in 1815–25 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for one-way

Contemporary Examples of one-way

Historical Examples of one-way

  • And “the one-way trail” is the trail over which there is no returning.

    The Night Riders

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • Unfortunately, at that distance, the connection was one-way.

  • The one-way trip is an easy day's journey from Glacier Point.

  • A one-way rocket to the moon and he tells me the toughest part's over.

  • Nearly 90% of its weight was fuel, for the one-way trip to Mars.

    Atom Drive

    Charles Louis Fontenay

British Dictionary definitions for one-way



moving or allowing travel in one direction onlyone-way traffic
entailing no reciprocal obligation, action, etca one-way agreement
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

Word Origin and History for one-way

1906, in reference to travel tickets; 1914 in reference to streets; 1940 in reference to windows, mirrors, etc.; from one + way.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper