one on one

one-on-one

[wuhn-on-wuhn, -awn-]
adjective
1.
consisting of or involving direct individual competition, confrontation, or communication; person-to-person: a one-on-one discussion.
adverb
2.
in direct encounter: I'd rather settle this with her one-on-one.
noun
3.
a meeting or confrontation between two persons.
Idioms
4.
go one-on-one with, Sports. to play directly against (an opposing player).

Origin:
1965–70, Americanism

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
one-on-one
 
adj
denoting a relationship or encounter in which someone is involved with only one other person: a one-on-one meeting

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

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]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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