one·​time | \ˈwən-ˈtīm \

Definition of onetime 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : former, sometime a onetime actor

2 : occurring only once : one-shot



Definition of onetime (Entry 2 of 2)

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Synonyms & Antonyms for onetime

Synonyms: Adjective

one-off, one-shot

Synonyms: Adverb

erstwhile, formerly, once

Antonyms: Adjective

frequent, periodic, periodical, recurrent, recurring, regular, repeated, steady

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Examples of onetime in a Sentence


a onetime actor now turned singer with any luck, that was a onetime mistake


an athlete who onetime competed in marathons on a regular basis
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

And the 50th District was where onetime Republican Rep. Duke Cunningham survived corruption scandals before finally going to jail for receiving $2.3 million in bribes. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Scandal-plagued Republican Duncan Hunter wins with an Islamophobic campaign," 7 Nov. 2018 Paul Manafort, his onetime campaign chairman, pled guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, after Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, did the same. Howard Kurtz, Fox News, "Is the president really seething over Sessions and other setbacks?," 21 Sep. 2018 Already, prosecutors have charged four Trump campaign associates — including the onetime campaign chairman, Paul Manafort — with felonies as part of the inquiry, and special counsel Robert Mueller wants to question the Republican president directly. Steve Peoples,, "Poll finds Americans oppose presidential self-pardons," 22 June 2018 One of the people who spoke to AP said the questioning focused entirely on two officials from Trump's campaign who have been indicted by Mueller: Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and Manafort's onetime deputy, Rick Gates. NBC News, "Mueller team questions longtime Trump friend Tom Barrack," 5 May 2018 Blumenfeld’s onetime deputy, Alexis Strauss, has been acting administrator for Region 9 for nearly two years. Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, "At SF’s leaderless EPA office, cutbacks and policy shifts pummel morale," 24 Feb. 2018 While having tea with friend Letitia Baldridge, her onetime social secretary at the White House, Jackie talked about her lack of direction. Nancy Bilyeau, Town & Country, "Jackie Kennedy's Third Act," 18 Aug. 2017 Who wouldn’t take this next chapter in a story that planted its seeds back in April, when at the Masters the two onetime rivals turned recent friends chose to play a practice round together. Tara Sullivan,, "Some head-to-head dream matchups we wish we could see," 12 July 2018 Along with Leslie Caron and her onetime rival, Zizi Jeanmaire, Ms. Montevecchi was part of a generation of performers who leveraged ballet success in France into wider popularity. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Liliane Montevecchi, French cabaret star who won a Tony for ‘Nine,’ dies at 85," 1 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Chris Webber and onetime Celtic Nate Robinson do just fine. Mark Feeney,, "In ‘Uncle Drew,’ Kyrie dribbles, Kyrie shoots, Kyrie acts," 27 June 2018 Four Americans were killed in the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack: Ambassador Christopher Stevens, State Department official Sean Smith and security officers Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, both onetime Navy SEALs. Fox News, "Benghazi mastermind sentenced to 22 years in prison on federal terrorism charges," 27 June 2018 The book casts its spell in revealing the whys and wherefores of the killings, as investigated by Burke’s onetime high school classmate, Rob Barrett, a Boston FBI agent whom Burke likes nothing better than to humiliate. Lloyd Sachs,, "Crime fiction to heat up your summer reading list," 21 May 2018 The rape charge involves a woman who has not come forward publicly; the other is a onetime aspiring actress who was among his first accusers. Colleen Long,, "Harvey Weinstein charged with rape, posts $1m bond," 25 May 2018 Sarah Ratley, a Mercury 13 member and onetime Power Puff Derby race pilot who was working as an AT&T electrical engineer when she was recruited by Lovelace, had a similar perspective. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Meet the Trailblazing Female Astronauts from Netflix’s “Mercury 13” Documentary," 24 May 2018 McGrory, a longtime columnist and onetime metro editor, was named to the top post in December 2012. Mark Arsenault,, "Globe investigating allegation top editor sent inappropriate text," 24 May 2018 However, one notable celebrity—and onetime cochair of the event—was missing from the crowd: Taylor Swift. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "While Everyone Else Was Decked Out for the Met Gala, Taylor Swift Was Wearing Reformation in the Desert," 8 May 2018 The group includes former star women’s basketball player Andrea Constand, as well as onetime aspiring actresses, a bartender, a schoolteacher, and a reality TV staple. Maria Panaritis,, "In Cosby trial closings, a putrid attack on accusers is bad news for #metoo | Maria Panaritis," 24 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'onetime.' 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 onetime


1850, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for onetime

Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for onetime

The first known use of onetime was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for onetime



English Language Learners Definition of onetime

: having been someone or something specified in the past

: done or happening only once


one·​time | \ˈwən-ˌtīm \

Kids Definition of onetime

: former The onetime champ spoke to our group.

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