at one time in the past; formerly: I was a farmer once;a once powerful nation.
a single time: We ate there just once.We go to a movie once a week.
even a single time; at any time; ever: If the facts once become known, it will be just too bad.
by a single step, degree, or grade: a cousin once removed.
former; having at one time been: the once and future king.
if or when at any time; if ever.
whenever; as soon as: Once you're finished, you can leave.
a single occasion; one time only: Once is enough.
Idioms about once
all at once,
simultaneously: The children were running, screaming, and throwing things all at once.
suddenly: All at once the rain came down.
at the same time; simultaneously: Don't all speak at once.
once and again, repeatedly: He has been told once and again not to slam the door.
once and for all, decisively; finally: Let's settle this problem once and for all.: Also once for all.
once in a while, at intervals; occasionally: She stops in to see us once in a while.
once or twice, a very few times; infrequently: I've seen her in the elevator once or twice.
once upon a time, at some unspecified past time, especially a long time ago: Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there lived a prince and princess.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use once in a sentence
once discovered, this maneuver did not endear the councilors to their constituents.
My doctor insisted that once I filed this piece I lie down on my bed and not get out.I Tried to Warn You About Sleazy Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2003 | Vicky Ward | January 7, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Every once in a while, they act swiftly and acknowledge the problem.
once I began reading, I realized A Gronking to Remember was a masturbatory tribute to the New England Patriots.‘A Gronking to Remember’ Speed Read: 8 Naughtiest Bits | Emily Shire | January 7, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Where the U.S. once depended on its own forces to determine who was military material, this time the Iraqis will decide.Pentagon Insider on New Plan to Fight ISIS: ‘Of Course It’s Not Enough’ | Nancy A. Youssef | January 6, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
He held it, but it was without pressure; without recognizance of the delight with which he once grasped it.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4 | Jane Porter
When his lordship retired early, as was his custom, the other men adjourned once more to the billiard-room.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3) | Charles James Wills
As Spain, however, has fallen from the high place she once held, her colonial system has also gone down.Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce | E. R. Billings.
Each picture bore a label, giving a true description of the once-honoured gem.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3) | Charles James Wills
And once more, she found herself desiring to be like Janet--not only in appearance, but in soft manner and tone.Hilda Lessways | Arnold Bennett
British Dictionary definitions for once
one time; on one occasion or in one case
at some past time; formerly: I could speak French once
by one step or degree (of relationship): a cousin once removed
(in conditional clauses, negatives, etc) ever; at all: if you once forget it
multiplied by one
once and away
once and for all conclusively; for the last time
once in a while occasionally; now and then
once or twice or once and again a few times
once upon a time used to begin fairy tales and children's stories
(subordinating) as soon as; if ever or whenever: once you begin, you'll enjoy it
one occasion or case: you may do it, this once
all at once
suddenly or without warning
for once this time, if (or but) at no other time
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with once
In addition to the idioms beginning with once
- once and for all
- once bitten, twice shy
- once in a blue moon
- once in a lifetime
- once in a while
- once over lightly
- once upon a time
- all at once
- at once
- every now and then (once in a while)
- give someone the once-over
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.