• synonyms

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.
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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
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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


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper