- the present, or immediate, occasion or purpose (usually used in the phrase for the nonce).
- (of a word or phrase) coined and used only for a particular occasion: nonce forms such as “paintrix,” meaning “a female painter.”
Origin of nonce
Examples from the Web for nonce
The "Nonce" said that you caught him up in a line he had misquoted.'Gerald Fitzgerald
Charles James Lever
- the present time or occasion (now only in the phrase for the nonce)
- prison slang a rapist or child molester; a sexual offender
Word Origin and History for nonce
abstracted from phrase for þe naness (c.1200) "for a special occasion, for a particular purpose," itself a misdivision (see N for other examples) of for þan anes "for the one," in reference to a particular occasion or purpose, the þan being from Middle English dative definite article þam (see the). The phrase used from early 14c. as an empty filler in metrical composition. As an adjective from 1884.