Definition of number one in English:

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number one



1A person or thing that is foremost or most important in an activity or area: businesses that were number one in their markets
More example sentences
  • Being number one was more important than winning titles.
  • Through all the years performing on stage Leviev kept on repeating his motto that it is not important to be number one but to sustain your position.
  • Els remembers the difference he saw in the world number one at the 2000 Presidents Cup compared to the 1998 match in Australia.
primary, main, chief, key, prime, central, principal, overriding, foremost, first, most important, predominant, paramount, major, ruling, dominant, master, supreme, cardinal, pre-eminent, ultimate
informal top-notch
1.1A recording or other product in a particular category that has sold the most copies in a particular time period.
Example sentences
  • The final of the souped-up talent contest is on Saturday, December 17, which gives the winner four days to get a single into the shops in time to make a claim on the Christmas number-one spot, assuming G4 or Westlife don't get there first.
  • Not every young person is going to get onto Popstars, or sell a number one record.
  • These three lines from one song from the current number one Hindi film soundtrack album (Kal Ho Naa Ho) in Mumbai say it all.
2Used in reference to oneself: you must look after number one
More example sentences
  • The fact that he treated me like a loyal puppy never bothered me much because I knew that I was always number one when it came to his heart, always one of the most important people in his life.
3Used euphemistically to refer to urine.
4The shortest men’s cropped haircut produced with electric hair clippers.
Example sentences
  • Nearly all the women had hair on the curly/frizzy/wavy continuum and nearly all the men had a number one / two haircut.


1Most important or prevalent; foremost: a number-one priority coronary disease is the number-one killer of American men
More example sentences
  • ‘Our number-one priority was performance,’ says chief engineer Nobuaki Katayama.
  • Our number-one priority has been reducing the numbers of those at risk of internal sewer flooding and addressing the worst cases of external flooding.
  • Andy Brown, BSM roadshow manager, said: ‘Learning to drive is a number-one priority for most young people.’
1.1Best-selling in a particular category: a number-one album

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: num¦ber one

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