once in a lifetime

Extremely rare, especially as an opportunity. For example, An offer like that will come just once in a lifetime. This phrase, often used hyperbolically, was first recorded in 1854. Also see of one's life.


Nearby words

  1. onc,
  2. once,
  3. once and for all,
  4. once bitten, twice shy,
  5. once in a blue moon,
  6. once in a while,
  7. once more unto the breach, dear friends,
  8. once over lightly,
  9. once upon a time,
  10. once-over

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Examples from the Web for once in a lifetime