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

Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime holiday that includes nine diverse ports, five expert speakers and more than 20 hours of exclusive science seminars. Scientific American, "Our 175th Anniversary Voyage," 13 June 2019 The Food and Drug Administration estimates that as many as one-in-five high school students vaped in 2018 at least once in the past 30 days, an increase of nearly 80 percent over the rate the previous year. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "Amid unchecked vaping, Carmel to consider ban on e-cigs in public spaces," 13 June 2019 Jimenez's role The second development came in the bottom of the eighth, when right-handed reliever Joe Jimenez once again took the mound in a set-up situation, with the Tigers up a run. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers developments: JaCoby Jones leading off, Joe Jimenez setting up," 13 June 2019 Painted in vivid blue with a red interior, Zubrzycki’s gracefully crafted viola organista combines the polyphonic capacity of a keyboard—allowing it to play multiple melodies at once—with the sensitivity and emotive range of strings. Claudia Kalb, National Geographic, "Why Leonardo da Vinci’s brilliance endures, 500 years after his death," 12 June 2019 The couple once again broke tradition and threw a super laid-back reception at a bowling alley, complete with a full brunch menu and a room full of their best friends. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Bridal Bliss: Camille and Kristen's Cliffside Wedding Took Us To New Heights," 12 June 2019 However, in the week following the launch, Kylie shared a Kylie Skin tutorial that had Twitter riled up once again. Glamour, "We Put Kylie Jenner's Face Wash to the White Towel Test," 12 June 2019 The Highlanders were led by a wrestling program that once again won both the dual and individual bracket state championships and a girls lacrosse team that won a state title for the first time. Buddy Collings, orlandosentinel.com, "Oviedo captures Orlando Sentinel high school all-sports trophy," 12 June 2019 Facing Rafael Nadal, on less than 24 hours rest, in the French Open men’s singles final, a match Nadal has never lost, not once, in 11 tries? Jason Gay, WSJ, "Rafael Nadal Always Has Paris," 9 June 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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