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 Helping us direct, frame, and prod, once again, will be my conference co-chairs, Thrive Global CEO Arianna Huffington and Dr. David Agus, founding director of USC’s Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine. Clifton Leaf, Fortune, "How to invest in health care? Step one: Ask the right questions," 21 Feb. 2020 That killed off what was once a lucrative revenue stream. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "Morgan Stanley is buying E-Trade for $13 billion," 20 Feb. 2020 Medical students will have new housing and a new place to practice their trade once a half-billion dollar project is complete in the Texas Medical Center area. Roy Kent, Houston Chronicle, "Texas A&M System investing more than $500 million in Houston’s Texas Medical Center," 20 Feb. 2020 And how, if possible, will Ron Roenicke make up for the absence of three huge pieces of what was once a championship baseball puzzle? Tara Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, "Could the tumultuous offseason actually wind up uniting the Red Sox?," 18 Feb. 2020 The feel-good British hit will soon be headed to our TVs once again. will get its U.S. premiere on PBS on March 29. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Call the Midwife," 16 Feb. 2020 Capitalism’s ultimate heroes were once the professional CEOs. John D. Stoll, WSJ, "This Anti-CEO’s Mission Impossible: Use Capitalism to Kill Meat," 15 Feb. 2020 This year, makeup artists and hairstylists are once again bringing the heat to the runway. Samantha Tse, Allure, "The Best Hair and Makeup Looks From London Fashion Week," 15 Feb. 2020 Prather was once a star the player for the Cardinals, according to the University of Louisville athletics department. Savannah Eadens, The Courier-Journal, "Four Louisville residents, including firefighter, killed in car crash near St. Louis," 14 Feb. 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

24 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Once.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/once%20in%20a%20while. Accessed 25 Feb. 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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