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.

Examples of once upon a time in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The demon, of course, merely illustrates a thesis that can be stated in more sombre terms: everything that happens is the inevitable consequence of the laws of nature and what the universe was like once upon a time. Nikhil Krishnan, The New Yorker, 6 Nov. 2023 What’s funny is that once upon a time, hose were a symbol of freedom. Laia Garcia-Furtado, Vogue, 26 Oct. 2023 Something like that would have been Republican boilerplate, once upon a time. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 16 Oct. 2023 That’s not unprecedented, of course: Max includes access to HBO, which once upon a time was also only available via cable. Vulture, 19 Sep. 2023 Wolves, on the other hand, which were reintroduced in 1995 to a country that nearly wiped them off the map once upon a time, currently only live in the most remote areas of 13 states and tend to avoid humans. Paul Richards, Field & Stream, 14 Sep. 2023 Quarterbacks – almost bulletproof on rookie contracts once upon a time – like Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Dwayne Haskins are among recent first-rounders who went to different teams after three seasons or fewer. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 2 Aug. 2023 Not only super dark given the August heat in NYC, but technically…once upon a time at least…navy blue with black was verboten. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, 23 Aug. 2023 The streaming company has long been aware that its subscribers share passwords and once upon a time encouraged it. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, 10 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'once upon a time.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near once upon a time

Cite this Entry

“Once upon a time.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/once%20upon%20a%20time. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

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