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

Last year, the total dipped once more to $150 million. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "These donors love their alma maters so much they gave them the roofs over their heads," 13 July 2018 After this, the child appears to be thrown to the ground once more. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "California dad recorded using child ‘like a baseball bat’ in confrontation with woman, police say," 13 July 2018 More: With Holocaust center's move, Union Terminal will, once more, be a refuge for survivors According to officials at the center, the Union Terminal model took 213 hours of build time and 16,872 LEGO bricks to make. Chris Pugh, Cincinnati.com, "Union Terminal to be part of LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Columbus," 13 July 2018 The ball must bounce once more on the other side of the net before teams can run up to the kitchen line and begin volleying. Bethany Ao, Philly.com, "How to play pickleball," 12 July 2018 However, Croatia have grown used to beating the odds, and will relish the role of underdogs once more. Kieran Canning, chicagotribune.com, "Lovren: 'our mentality' carried Croatia to the World Cup final," 12 July 2018 The kit has been manufactured once more by New Balance, and has been launched in partnership with club partner Konami, featuring footage of the players wearing the kit in the upcoming Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 video game. SI.com, "PHOTO: Liverpool Unveil Trendy New Third Kit Ahead of 2018/19 Season," 12 July 2018 Geagea had to endorse Hariri, who has been confirmed as prime minister once more with Hezbollah’s blessing, despite his Lebanese Forces publicly complaining of Hezbollah efforts to exclude it from prominent positions in parliament and the cabinet. Renad Mansour, Washington Post, "An emerging populism is sweeping the Middle East," 11 July 2018 Most hikers—those of you who go backpacking at least once a year, on trips lasting one to five nights—need a middle-ground backpack. Kelly Bastone, Outside Online, "The Best Women’s Backpacking Packs," 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

3 Nov 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

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