once

adverb
\ ˈwən(t)s \

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, 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

Local school groups visit at least once a year, Washington said, as do members of Till’s family, who mark significant anniversaries of Emmett’s slaying with ceremonies. Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, "'Trayvon Martin before Trayvon Martin': 63 years after slaying, Emmett Till still visited daily at Alsip cemetery," 13 July 2018 Warnings about historic disasters are issued in anticipation of the sort of extreme conditions that occur just once or twice in 50 years, Kyodo News reported. Simon Denyer, BostonGlobe.com, "At least 85 dead, many missing as ‘historic’ rains pound Japan," 8 July 2018 Azar, who once clerked for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, has spent a large chunk of his career in the healthcare industry. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "HHS departures signal new secretary's 'no-nonsense' approach: report," 14 July 2018 In 2006, a French team once again led by Zidane and Thuram made it to the World Cup final, then lost after Zidane head-butted an Italian player and was expelled from the game. Laurent Dubois, The Atlantic, "France’s Ghosts Return for the World Cup," 14 July 2018 Louisville Metro police have closed several downtown streets once again as the department braces for another counterprotest at the site of Occupy ICE’s ongoing demonstration against the federal immigration policy. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Downtown streets close again for another Occupy ICE counterprotest," 14 July 2018 Even though the famous city has an important place in history, centuries of building has covered over many of the ruins and millions of people now live and work on top of what was once founded by Alexander the Great. Abigail Abrams, Time, "A Mysterious Sarcophagus That May Not Have Been Opened in 2,000 Years Was Found in Egypt," 14 July 2018 The next at-bat, once again in complete command of the count — ahead 2-0 — Jones squared up a big swing and fell a few feet short of a home run. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Tigers' growing pains aren't easy but Gardenhire is proud of fight," 14 July 2018 In what was once a steakhouse, El Puerto serves up Mexican food that’s fresh and never frozen, owner Saul Moya said. Shonda Talerico Dudlicek, Lake County News-Sun, "El Puerto's menu is full of owner specialties," 13 July 2018

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

Middle English ones, from genitive of on one

Noun

see once entry 1

Adjective

see once entry 1

Conjunction

see once entry 1

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Statistics for once

Last Updated

22 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for once

The first known use of once was in the 12th century

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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 \

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

What made you want to look up once? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

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