once upon a time

idiom

Definition of once upon a time

: at some time in the past He was a famous actor once upon a time.

Note: Once upon a time is the traditional way to begin a fairy tale.

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess named Snow White.

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Cite this Entry

“Once upon a time.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/once%20upon%20a%20time. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

More from Merriam-Webster on once upon a time

Nglish: Translation of once upon a time for Spanish Speakers

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