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

Microsoft Teams is moving ahead in its gradual replacement of Skype for Business, which was once Microsoft’s go-to solution for collaborating via video or text. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft Teams taps AI to boost new background, whiteboarding features," 19 Mar. 2019 The small town–which yes, Sonny Bono was once mayor of– has long been the destination to which icons of classic Hollywood, such as Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor, would escape. Charlotte Chilton, Town & Country, "What to Do on Your Next Trip to Palm Springs," 5 Mar. 2019 The five largest Wall Street firms reported this week that combined quarterly trading revenue was down 6% from a year earlier, further draining a once-reliable stream of profits. Liz Hoffman, WSJ, "Traders Wished for Volatility. The Fourth Quarter Wasn’t What They Had in Mind.," 17 Jan. 2019 Okay, don’t think about that, because the answer might be electrocution, fire, or toilet geysers, possibly all at once. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The Importance of Overly Ambitious Projects," 11 Mar. 2019 Medallions can be layered within a single necklace all at once, or built over time, or by layering multiple necklaces together. Will Kahn, Town & Country, "How to Layer Necklaces," 8 Mar. 2019 The whole episode will probably be available all at once, which looks like how RTT has released previous episodes (in that case, the video might be edited; live streams aren't). Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "How to Watch Jordyn Woods' Red Table Talk Interview With Jada Pinkett Smith," 28 Feb. 2019 The latter certainly wouldn’t be safer if password manager companies were exposing millions of our passwords at once through breaches of their servers. Geoffrey A. Fowler, The Seattle Times, "Password managers have a security flaw, but you should still use one," 19 Feb. 2019 The only way the pipeline could be stopped would be if all states individually strengthened their gun laws at once — or, more realistically, if the federal government passed a law that enforces stricter rules across the US. German Lopez, Vox, "I’ve covered gun violence for years. The solutions aren’t a big mystery.," 14 Feb. 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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