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English definition of “once”


adverb uk   /wʌns/ us  

once adverb (ONE TIME)

A2 one single time: I went sailing once, but I didn't like it. We have lunch together once a month.Rarely and infrequently at once C1 at the same time: They all started talking at once.Simultaneous and consecutiveOrder and sequence for once B2 used when something happens that does not usually happen: For once, the bus came on time.Points in time just this once used to say that you will only do or request something on this particular occasion: All right, I'll give you a lift - just this once.Points in time once again (also once more) B1 again, as has happened before: Once again, racist attacks are increasing across Europe.Continually and repeatedly once more B1 one more time: I'd like to visit the colleges once more before we leave.Continually and repeatedly again, as has happened before: I'm pleased that Daniel's working with us once more.Continually and repeatedly once or twice a few times: I've seen him once or twice in town.Rarely and infrequently (every) once in a while B2 sometimes but not often: We meet for lunch once in a while.Rarely and infrequently once and for all C2 completely and in a way that will finally solve a problem: Our intention is to destroy their offensive capability once and for all.Complete and wholeVery and extreme once in a lifetime only likely to happen once in a person's life: An opportunity as good as this arises once in a lifetime. Unique and unusualGood, better and best in terms of qualityRarely and infrequently the once on a single occasion: I've only played rugby the once, and I never want to play it again.Rarely and infrequently

once adverb (PAST)

B1 in the past, but not now: This house once belonged to my grandfather. Computers are much cheaper nowadays than they once were. Once-thriving villages stand deserted and in ruins.In the past


conjunction uk   /wʌns/ us  
B2 as soon as, or from the moment when: Once I've found somewhere to live I'll send you my address. Remember that you won't be able to cancel the contract once you've signed.Simultaneous and consecutiveOrder and sequence at once B1 immediately: I knew at once that I'd like it here.Immediately
(Definition of once from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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