hapax legomenon

[hap-aks li-gom-uh-non, hey-paks]
noun, plural hap·ax le·go·me·na [hap-aks li-gom-uh-nuh, hey-paks] /ˈhæp æks lɪˈgɒm ə nə, ˈheɪ pæks/.
  1. 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

British Dictionary definitions for hapax legomenon

hapax legomenon

noun plural hapax legomena (ləˈɡɒmɪnə)
  1. 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

Word Origin and History for hapax legomenon
n.

(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