Definition of one-man band in US English:

one-man band


  • 1A street entertainer who plays several instruments at the same time.

    • ‘Part of the pleasure of watching a one-man band is like watching a tightrope walker to see whether they fall off or not.’
    • ‘If they bothered to turn around, they saw a monotonous singer, a cacophonous one-man band, a juggler of little note.’
    • ‘At the end of the night, I'm packing up and I realize why it's called a one-man band - I've got all the gear of a band, and I have to pack it all into the taxi myself!’
    • ‘For his second album, Whitehorse's Stephen Noel Kozmeniuk has opened up his one-man band to other musicians, cranked up the amps, and channelled The Beatles and Byrds through Big Star and Sam Roberts.’
    • ‘Later, there would be dancing to the sounds of a one-man band, singing and playing the sax earnestly, with canned tunes backing him up (weekends only).’
    • ‘From its humble origins as the one-man band of Dallas indie rocker John Dufilho, the Deathray Davies has released a handful of colorfully named albums.’
    • ‘The drummer applies a marching one-man band style drum kit, a perfect complement to the roaming and ranting guitarists.’
    • ‘Many view Nine Inch Nails as the sterile studio creation of a tortured one-man band.’
    • ‘I am totally different from everyone else in the game because not only do I rap, I also produce, play musical instruments and sing which makes me literally, a one-man band.’
    • ‘Why did he make the Count Basie band come alive as a one-man band?’
    • ‘He was a one-man band, showing the same versatility with different visual styles and methods as a musician who can play several instruments as well as write the music.’
    • ‘Dance bands have varied from the medieval one-man band of pipe and tabor to the small symphony orchestras of Johann Strauss (i); as always, financial considerations dictate the size.’
    • ‘Homemade and sometimes grungily recorded, the latest record by his one-man band delivers jitter - and indie pop that practically gnaws its own arm with excitement.’
    • ‘He described the novice politician who had to become a political one-man band, as well as composer, conductor and roadie, as being a quiet man, but one who did his homework.’
    • ‘Spain's passionate exponent of the native Galician bagpipes, who first came to international attention with The Chieftains, will be doing his usual one-man band act with his whistles and recorders.’
    • ‘In the dilapidated shack he called home, he claimed to have written over 7000 songs, and performed them all as a one-man band savaging a foot-operated drum kit and an out-of-tune guitar.’
    • ‘The amazing one-man band will be performing a number of gigs around the region over the next fortnight.’
    • ‘Not only does it allow for faster creation and composition of music, it allows the composer to become the proverbial one-man band.’
    • ‘Now he's a one-man band with harmonium and drums.’
    1. 1.1 A person who runs a business alone.
      • ‘Originally a one-man band based in a glorified cupboard at Kendal College, Richard has witnessed office moves first to County Hall and then Busher Walk, while the number of staff on the payroll is now the equivalent of 26 full-timers.’
      • ‘These businesses range from the smaller one-man bands to the high-growth enterprises set up by entrepreneurs.’
      • ‘‘His business folded because he was a one-man band with just the one wagon and without it he couldn't work as much as he'd wanted,’ he said.’
      • ‘In a similar vein, one-product companies, one-client businesses and one-man bands are rarely good long-term stock market bets.’
      • ‘These are one-man bands who get enormous coverage by producing spurious reports that set out to frighten people.’
      • ‘A business that started as a one-man band and today employs 43 staff is now poised for the next stage of growth.’
      • ‘As the business grew, however, the one-man band became a full-blown orchestra and Burbush's had to move - twice - to larger premises.’
      • ‘As long as it is classed as a commercial vehicle and the company concerned - whether it is a one-man band or a staff of thousands - is registered for VAT, then it is possible to reclaim 17.5% of the purchase price.’
      • ‘He said: ‘The biggest problem is that 80 per cent of plumbers are one-man bands and so are intimidated by or frightened of taking on extra responsibility.’’
      • ‘These range from one-man bands to multinational companies.’
      • ‘Offering Internet access to a village pub has turned this one-man band into an expanding business employing more than 30 people nationwide.’
      • ‘Cumbria Rural Enterprise Agency has grown from a one-man band in 1986 to a business support organisation employing more than 80 staff today.’
      • ‘At present the French one-man band running the dive operation in Fare is a little lackadaisical.’
      • ‘The increasing amount of data passing through the networks of Irish businesses has been a crucial factor in determining storage needs in every business segment, from the smallest one-man band to the largest corporation.’
      • ‘‘So many farmers are one-man bands they don't have extra man to stay behind to allow the farmer to go to shows, but the bonus will help to defray their costs,’ Mr Platt said.’
      • ‘The one-man bands can fill that gap because they have the skills and are prepared to work hard and long hours for their independence.’
      • ‘He said: ‘When I set up the company in 1987, I was a one-man band based at my home in Morningside.’’
      • ‘Mr Lambert started the business, which specialises in the recruitment of care and support workers, as a one-man band.’
      • ‘Chances are, the one-man band in question will have laboured over the project, in his unheated shed, for years and years.’
      • ‘These companies are often a one-man band with a mobile phone and a couple of clamps, and therefore hard to trace.’


one-man band

/ˌwən ˈmæn ˈbænd//ˌwən ˈman ˈband/