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nonce

[ nons ]
/ nɒns /
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noun

the present, or immediate, occasion or purpose (usually used in the phrase for the nonce).

adjective

(of a word or phrase) coined and used only for a particular occasion: nonce forms such as “paintrix,” meaning “a female painter.”

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THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?

Did you ever collect all those state quarters? Put them to good use on this quiz about curious state monikers and the facts around them.
Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?

Origin of nonce

1150–1200; Middle English nones, in phrase for the nones, by faulty division of for then ones for the once (Middle English then dative singular of the1; onesonce)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for nonce

  • The "Nonce" said that you caught him up in a line he had misquoted.'

    Gerald Fitzgerald|Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for nonce (1 of 2)

nonce1
/ (nɒns) /

noun

the present time or occasion (now only in the phrase for the nonce)

Word Origin for nonce

C12: from the phrase for the nonce, a mistaken division of for then anes, literally: for the once, from then dative singular of the + anes once

British Dictionary definitions for nonce (2 of 2)

nonce2
/ (nɒns) /

noun

prison slang a rapist or child molester; a sexual offender

Word Origin for nonce

C20: of unknown origin
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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