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English definition of “once”


adverb (ONE TIME)    /wʌns/
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. → See also once-in-a-lifetimeUnique 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-in-a-lifetimeGrammar:OnceOnce is an adverb or conjunction.See moreGrammar:Once as an adverbWe use once as an adverb to mean ‘one single time’:See moreGrammar:Once as a conjunctionWe use once as a conjunction meaning ‘as soon as’ or ‘after’:See more
(Definition of once adverb (ONE TIME) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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