Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
1. Consisting of only two people, with one person's attention or energy focused solely on the other person. I make a point of offering one-on-one tutoring sessions for any student who feels like they need it. The store even has staff who give one-on-one advice on which product is right for someone.
2. In sports, (describing) a match-up in which two competitors compete directly against one another. This play is all about isolating the defender so you can go one-on-one. If they keep getting one-on-ones in the paint, they're going to dominate this game.
one on one
A direct encounter between two persons, especially a conflict, as in The two department heads went one on one regarding shelf space. This slangy expression almost certainly comes from sports. It is commonly used to refer to a two-person basketball game, but is also applied to the interaction of two players on opposing teams in football, soccer, and similar team sports. [c. 1960]
one on one (or one to one)denoting or referring to a situation in which two parties come into direct contact, opposition, or correspondence.
1995 Represent I wanna speak to God one on one me and him.