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1. A sexual encounter that only happens one time. After a night of drinking, Maria had a one-night stand with Mark but regretted it the next morning.
2. A single performance. My favorite comedian is doing a one-night stand in the city next weekend.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. Lit. a performance lasting only one night. The band did a series of one-night stands down the East Coast. You can't make a living doing one-night stands.
2. Fig. a romance or sexual relationship that lasts only one night. It was not a romance, just a one-night stand. It looked like something that would last longer than a one-night stand.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
a ˌone-night ˈstand
1 (informal) a sexual relationship that lasts for a single night; a person that somebody has this relationship with: I wanted it to be more than a one-night stand. ♢ For him I was just a one-night stand.
2 one performance, concert, etc. in a town, given by an orchestra, theatre company, etc. which is travelling round from town to town: He left the band because he got tired of one-night stands. It’s not much fun moving from place to place all the time.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
1. n. a performance lasting only one night. The band did a series of one-night stands down the East Coast.
2. n. a romance or sexual relationship that lasts only one night. It looked like something that would last longer than a one-night stand.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
A single performance or sexual encounter. This term comes from the days of touring theater companies, who would perform for only one night in a town that was likely to provide the audience for only one engagement. By the mid-twentieth century it had been transferred not only to other one-time performances of various kinds but also, in colloquial usage, to a single sexual encounter that was unlikely to be repeated by the same couple and therefore implied some promiscuity.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer