Pronunciation: (wuns), [key]
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. once and again, repeatedly: He has been told once and again not to slam the door.
6. once and for all, decisively; finally: Let's settle this problem once and for all. Also,once for all.
7. once in a while, at intervals; occasionally: She stops in to see us once in a while.
8. once or twice, a very few times; infrequently: I've seen her in the elevator once or twice.
9. once upon a time, at some unspecified past time, esp. a long time ago: Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there lived a prince and princess.
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. all at once,
a. simultaneously: The children were running, screaming, and throwing things all at once.
b. suddenly: All at once the rain came down.
3. at once,
a. at the same time; simultaneously: Don't all speak at once.
b. immediately; promptly: Tell him to come at once!
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.