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

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

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Conjunction

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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 Kramer said in the lawsuit that not only did the patient not need root canals, but no patient would ever need 18 of them at once. USA Today, "Dentists under pressure to drill ‘healthy teeth’ for profit, former insiders allege," 19 Mar. 2020 Officials are concerned about a large number of people getting sick all at once, which could potentially overwhelm the system. Morgan Krakow, Anchorage Daily News, "State announces 3 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing Alaska total to 9 so far," 19 Mar. 2020 Every financial asset is falling at once, and the economy itself seems to be imploding. Jason Zweig, WSJ, "This Is Your Brain on a Crashing Stock Market," 19 Mar. 2020 The gun sales counter was several customers deep, with staff members handling as many as six people at once. Beth Mlady, cleveland, "Middleburg Heights firearms retailers see brisk business during health emergency," 18 Mar. 2020 Infections will still continue but over a longer period of time, not all at once. Dallas News, "How ready are Dallas-Fort Worth hospitals for the coming surge?," 18 Mar. 2020 The persistent power of the place once called home to shape electoral choices is most apparent among two groups, Cuban Americans and Puerto Ricans. Eliza Willis, The Conversation, "All Latinos don’t vote the same way – their place of origin matters," 18 Mar. 2020 Beijing expelled three Wall Street Journal reporters, marking the first time since Mao Zedong’s rule that multiple foreign journalists were kicked out at once. Emily Rauhala, BostonGlobe.com, "China to expel reporters from Washington Post, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal," 17 Mar. 2020 And if that happened, all at once, could Alabama Power keep up? Dennis Pillion | Dpillion@al.com, al, "How much does Alabama Power need to keep the lights on? The billion-dollar battle over expansion," 16 Mar. 2020 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 Brazil meanwhile were beaten by hosts France in the last 16; a disappointing but not unexpected finish from a once world class squad. SI.com, "England vs Brazil Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 4 Oct. 2019 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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Time Traveler for once

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for once

Last Updated

23 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Once.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/once. Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for once

once

adverb
How to pronounce once (audio)

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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