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Related to single: Single track, Single sign on

every single one

Every individual person or item within a group, without exception. This is going to be the hardest game we've played all year, so I need every single one of you giving it everything you've got! I can't believe it, every single one of these dishes has been broken!
See also: every, one, single

at a (single) stroke

All at once, with a single decisive or powerful action. When the economy crashed, thousands of people lost their jobs, their homes, and their pensions at a single stroke. As the two leaders ratified the treaty, 10 years of civil war ended at a stroke.
See also: stroke

at a (single) blow

All at once, with a single decisive or powerful action. When the economy crashed, thousands of people lost their jobs, their homes, and their pensions at a single blow. As the two leaders ratified the treaty, 10 years of civil war ended at a blow.
See also: blow

a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

A daunting task can usually be started by doing a simple thing. I'm feeling really overwhelmed about my research project, but I have to start somewhere, since a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

*in (a) single file

Fig. lined up, one behind the other; in a line, one person or one thing wide. (*Typically: be ~; get [into] ~; march ~; walk ~.) Have you ever seen ducks walking in single file? Please get into single file. Please march in single file.
See also: file, single

of a single mind

(about someone or something) Go to of one mind (about someone or something).
See also: mind, of, single

of one mind (about someone or something)

 and of a single mind (about someone or something)
in agreement about someone or something. You will have to attend one of the state universities. Your father and I are of a single mind about this.
See also: mind, of, one

single file

a line of things or people, one person or one thing wide. (See also in single file.) Please get into single file. You have to march single file.
See also: file, single

single someone or something out (for something)

to choose or pick someone or something for something; to select an eligible person or thing for something. The committee singled her out for a special award. We singled out Liz for special honors.
See also: out, single

of one mind

also of the same mind
in agreement We're of one mind on most political issues.
See also: mind, of, one

single out somebody/something

also single somebody/something out
to choose someone or something for special attention Rosa was singled out by the teacher because her art project was so creative. I don't know why they singled it out, but my report was severely criticized at the meeting.
See also: out, single

each and every one

Also, every last one; every single one. Every individual in a group, as in Each and every student must register by tomorrow, or I've graded every last one of the exams, or Every single one of his answers was wrong. All of these phrases are generally used for emphasis. The first, although seemingly redundant, has replaced all and every, first recorded in 1502. The first variant dates from the late 1800s, and both it and the second are widely used. Also see every tom, dick, and harry. Every mother's son (late 1500s) and every man Jack (mid-1800s) are earlier versions that refer only to males.
See also: and, each, every, one

single file, in

Also, in Indian file. Aligned one behind the other, as in We have to bike in single file here, or The children were told to march in Indian file. Both usages are associated with military formations; the first term was first recorded in 1670; the variant, alluding to the usual marching order of Native Americans, was first recorded in 1758.
See also: single

single out

Choose or distinguish from others, as in We singled him out from all the other applicants. This idiom was first recorded in 1629.
See also: out, single

single out

To choose or distinguish someone or something from others: We singled her out from the list of applicants because she had a college degree. Unable to determine who had committed the offense, the teacher singled out the most mischievous student for punishment.
See also: out, single


1. n. one dollar; a dollar bill. I don’t have enough singles in the register to get me through the morning.
2. n. an unmarried person. (Usually plural.) I’m holding a little party for singles.
References in classic literature ?
The green warrior was much put to it to hold his own, and I felt that the unequal struggle could last but a moment longer when the huge fellow discovered my plight, and tearing himself from those that surrounded him, he raked the assailant from my back with a single sweep of his blade, and thus relieved I had little difficulty with the others.
But not a single person appeared to be in the room.
A single time she circled far aloft--and then straight as an arrow she sped away.
From behind my boulder I threw up the heavy express rifle--a mighty engine of destruction that might bring down a cave bear or a mammoth at a single shot--and let drive at the Sagoth's broad, hairy breast.
Werper strained his neck about to catch a sight of the cause of their panic, and when, at last he saw it, he too went cold in dread, for what his eyes beheld was the figure of a huge lion standing in the center of the temple, and already a single victim lay mangled beneath his cruel paws.
But still John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, stood deaf and unseeing, suffering the pangs of keen regret for the opportunity that he had wasted because he had been so gullible as to place credence in a single statement of the first lieutenant of his arch-enemy.
Here he found that every Arab and Manyuema had joined in the pursuit, leaving the village deserted except for the chained prisoners and a single guard.
Tarzan had wished that he might have taken some of the great store of ivory the village contained, solely for the purpose of still further augmenting the wrath of his enemies; but he knew that that was not necessary for its salvation, since he already had a plan mapped out which would effectually prevent the Arabs leaving the country with a single tusk.
In looking at Nature, it is most necessary to keep the foregoing considerations always in mind--never to forget that every single organic being around us may be said to be striving to the utmost to increase in numbers; that each lives by a struggle at some period of its life; that heavy destruction inevitably falls either on the young or old, during each generation or at recurrent intervals.
We know not exactly what the checks are in even one single instance.
In this instance the whole line of reef has been converted into land; but usually a snow-white line of great breakers, with only here and there a single low islet crowned with cocoa-nut trees, divides the dark heaving waters of the ocean from the light-green expanse of the lagoon-channel.
We can now perceive how it comes that atolls, having sprung from encircling barrier-reefs, resemble them in general size, form, in the manner in which they are grouped together, and in their arrangement in single or double lines; for they may be called rude outline charts of the sunken islands over which they stand.
Sometimes the entire cycle was still given, like the detached plays, at a single spot, the market-place or some other central square; but often, to accommodate the great crowds, there were several 'stations' at convenient intervals.
All the plays of the cycle were commonly performed in a single day, beginning, at the first station, perhaps as early as five o'clock in the morning; but sometimes three days or even more were employed.
He was a little surprised to perceive that the bumping sounds were occasioned by the progress up-stairs of the single gentleman's trunk, which, being nearly twice as wide as the staircase, and exceedingly heavy withal, it was no easy matter for the united exertions of the single gentleman and the coachman to convey up the steep ascent.