Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “once”

once

adverb
 
 
/wʌns/
ONE TIME A2 one time: It's only snowed once or twice this year. I go swimming once a week (= one time every week).Rarely and infrequently
NOT NOW B1 in the past, but not now: This house once belonged to my grandfather.In the past
once again B1 again: Once again I'm left with all the washing up.Continually and repeatedly
all at once suddenly: All at once he stood up and walked out of the room.Not expected or planned
at once B1 immediately: I knew at once that I would like it here.Immediately at the same time: They all started talking at once.Simultaneous and consecutiveOrder and sequence
once in a while B2 sometimes but not often: He plays tennis once in a while.Rarely and infrequently
once and for all If you do something once and for all, you do it now so that it does not have to be dealt with again: Let's get to the bottom of this matter once and for all!Intensifying expressionsComplete and wholeVery and extreme
once more B1 one more time: If you say that once more, I'm going to leave.Continually and repeatedly
for once B2 used to mean that something is happening that does not usually happen: For once, I think I have good news for him.Unique and unusualGood, better and best in terms of quality
once upon a time B1 used at the beginning of a children's story to mean that something happened a long time ago → See also once in a blue moonIn the past
(Definition of once adverb from the Cambridge Learners Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “once” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

see the light of day

When something sees the light of day, it appears for the first time.

Word of the Day

Highly delighted, bitterly disappointed, ridiculously cheap: adverbs for emphasis.

by Liz Walter,
October 22, 2014
We often make adjectives stronger by putting an adverb in front of them. The most common ones are very and, for a stronger meaning, extremely: He was very pleased. The ship is extremely large. However, we don’t use very or extremely for adjectives that already have a strong meaning, for example fantastic,

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More