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hapax legomenon

[hap-aks li-gom-uh-non, hey-paks] /ˈhæp æks lɪˈgɒm əˌnɒn, ˈheɪ pæks/
noun, plural hapax legomena
[hap-aks li-gom-uh-nuh, hey-paks] /ˈhæp æks lɪˈgɒm ə nə, ˈheɪ pæks/ (Show IPA)
a word or phrase that appears only once in a manuscript, document, or particular area of literature.
Origin of hapax legomenon
First recorded in 1880-85, hapax legomenon is from the Greek word hápax legómenon (thing) once said Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hapax legomenon
Historical Examples
  • It is the commonest word in the lexicon, yet it always reads as a hapax legomenon.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
British Dictionary definitions for hapax legomenon

hapax legomenon

/ˈhæpæks ləˈɡɒmɪˌnɒn/
noun (pl) hapax legomena (ləˈɡɒmɪnə)
another term for nonce word
Word Origin
Greek: thing said only once
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hapax legomenon

(plural legomena), "word occurring only once," Greek, literally "once said," from hapax "once" + legomenon, neuter passive present participle of legein "to say."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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