once: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (wuns), [key]
— adv.
  1. at one time in the past; formerly: I was a farmer once; a once powerful nation.
  2. a single time: We ate there just once. We go to a movie once a week.
  3. even a single time; at any time; ever: If the facts once become known, it will be just too bad.
  4. by a single step, degree, or grade: a cousin once removed.
  5. repeatedly: He has been told once and again not to slam the door.
  6. decisively; finally: Let's settle this problem once and for all.
  7. at intervals; occasionally: She stops in to see us once in a while.
  8. a very few times; infrequently: I've seen her in the elevator once or twice.
  9. at some unspecified past time, esp. a long time ago: Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there lived a prince and princess.
  1. former; having at one time been: the once and future king.
  1. if or when at any time; if ever.
  2. whenever; as soon as: Once you're finished, you can leave.
  1. a single occasion; one time only: Once is enough.
  2. The children were running, screaming, and throwing things all at once.
    1. simultaneously:The children were running, screaming, and throwing things all at once.
    2. suddenly:All at once the rain came down.
  3. Don't all speak at once.
    1. at the same time; simultaneously:Don't all speak at once.
    2. immediately; promptly:Tell him to come at once!
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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