[ wuhns ]
/ wʌns /
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.
Words nearby once
Idioms for 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.
- immediately; promptly: Tell him to come at once!
all 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. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for once in a while
/ (wʌns) /
one time; on one occasion or in one case
at some past time; formerlyI could speak French once
by one step or degree (of relationship)a cousin once removed
(in conditional clauses, negatives, etc) ever; at allif 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 wheneveronce you begin, you'll enjoy it
one occasion or caseyou may do it, this once
all at once
- suddenly or without warning
for once this time, if (or but) at no other time
Word Origin for once
C12 ones, ānes, adverbial genitive of on, ān one
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
Idioms and Phrases with once in a while (1 of 2)
once in a while
Occasionally, not very often, as in Once in a while I enjoy going fishing. [Mid-1800s] Also see every now and then; from time to time.
Idioms and Phrases with once in a while (2 of 2)
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.