[hap-aks li-gom-uh-non, hey-paks]
- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- another term for nonce word
Word Origin for hapax legomenon
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
(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