once

adverb
\ ˈwən(t)s How to pronounce once (audio) \

Definition of once

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : one time and no more rode a horse only once went skydiving once
2 : at any one time : under any circumstances : ever didn't once thank me
3 : at some indefinite time in the past : formerly was once a booming mining town
4 : by one degree of relationship first cousin once removed
once and for all
1 : with finality : definitively The team proved once and for all that they are the best.
2 : for the last time I'm telling you once and for all that I'm not going.
once in a while
: now and then spent most of their time at home, but went out once in a while

once

noun

Definition of once (Entry 2 of 4)

: one single time : one time at least Please be on time this once.
at once
1 : at the same time : simultaneously
3 : both entry 2 at once funny and sad

once

adjective

Definition of once (Entry 3 of 4)

: that once was : former a once successful actor

Definition of once (Entry 4 of 4)

: at the moment when : as soon as Once she spoke, I recognized her.

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Synonyms for once

Synonyms: Adverb

erstwhile, formerly, onetime

Synonyms: Adjective

erstwhile, former, late, old, onetime, other, past, quondam, sometime, whilom

Synonyms: Conjunction

as soon as, immediately [chiefly British], instantly, when

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Examples of once in a Sentence

Adverb

I will repeat the question once. The play was performed only once. She didn't once thank me. He didn't look at me once. It was once done that way. A river once flowed through this canyon. It was once a booming mining town. Their music was once very popular.

Noun

I have tried Indian food more than once. Please be on time just this once. For once you seem to know what I'm talking about.

Adjective

the once child star is now a lawyer in the entertainment industry

Conjunction

Once she spoke, I recognized her. you should have stopped wrestling once you knew someone was getting hurt, not five minutes later
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The Alaganik was once a separate tug and barge, but the barge was later welded to the tug, Norcross said. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Boat explosion and fire leaves part of Whittier dock unsafe and hundreds of pounds of fish in limbo," 12 July 2019 Conservators have found evidence that Leonardo left off work at an early point and picked it up again, possibly more than once, later. New York Times, "What Leonardo da Vinci Couldn’t Finish," 11 July 2019 Jim Calhoun was once the head coach of a Division I college basketball program at the University of Connecticut. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "These ESPY moments were as much about humanity as they were athletics," 11 July 2019 One advantage to collecting money in smaller increments rather than in chunks of $2,800, the maximum allowed from an individual, is that small donors can give more than once and so are a renewable resource in a long campaign. Janet Hook, latimes.com, "Elizabeth Warren out-raises Harris, Sanders — turning momentum into money," 8 July 2019 This 170-acre park, which was once a horse pasture, offers a small collection of easy and moderate trails. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "Take a break from the city with these 5 hiking spots within 50 miles of Louisville," 8 July 2019 Paul Schramka was once a member of the Chicago Cubs during a brief career that would lead to associations with some of the most famous figures in baseball. Jesse Garza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Funeral director Paul Schramka was a 'big leaguer' who encountered the top names in baseball," 8 July 2019 In addition to that limitation, the UKSRN survey is weakened by the fact that the same person can take it more than once from different devices. Sigal Samuel, Vox, "If aliens call, what should we do? Scientists want your opinion.," 6 July 2019 Major league bullpens are full of pitchers who were once starters, so the transition that each has made is nothing too unique. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "As David Hess returns to Orioles following relief transition, Hunter Harvey and Dillon Tate could take similar path," 6 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The second-year quarterback completed 10 of 13 passes for 113 yards, led two scoring drives in three series of action and once again showed play-making ability with his feet. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions' stock watch: Rookie LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin a bright spot," 25 Aug. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

And Michigan's gone through spring drills without a clear answer of who will realistically be the front-runner once summer begins. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's Shea Patterson still competing despite unclear situation," 12 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'once.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of once

Adverb

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1620, in the meaning defined above

Conjunction

1747, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for once

Adverb, Noun, Adjective, and Conjunction

Middle English ones, from genitive of on one

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More Definitions for once

once

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of once

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: one time only
: at any one time
: at some time in the past

once

noun

English Language Learners Definition of once (Entry 2 of 3)

: one single time

English Language Learners Definition of once (Entry 3 of 3)

: at the moment when : as soon as

once

adverb
\ ˈwəns How to pronounce once (audio) \

Kids Definition of once

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : one time only It happened just once.
2 : at some time in the past : formerly It was once done that way.
3 : at any one time : ever She didn't once thank me.
once and for all
: now and for the last time That should solve the problem once and for all.
once in a while
: from time to time I play golf once in a while.

once

noun

Kids Definition of once (Entry 2 of 3)

: one single time We can make an exception just this once.
at once
1 : at the same time I can't understand with both of you talking at once.
2 : immediately sense 2 Leave at once.

Kids Definition of once (Entry 3 of 3)

: as soon as : when Once you've finished your homework, you may go outside.

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More from Merriam-Webster on once

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for once

Spanish Central: Translation of once

Nglish: Translation of once for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of once for Arabic Speakers

Comments on once

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