once

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UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈwʌns/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/wʌns/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(wuns)


WordReference Collins English Usage © 2020
once
meaning ‘only one time’
If something happens once, it happens only one time.
I've been out with him once, that's all.
I have never forgotten her, though I saw her only once.
When once is used with this meaning, it usually goes at the end of a clause.
used about the past
You also use once to say that something happened at some time in the past.
I once investigated this story and I don't think it's true.
Once I saw a shooting star here,’ Jeffrey says.
When once is used with this meaning, it usually goes in front of a verb or at the beginning of a clause.
You also use once to say that something was true in the past, although it is no longer true.
These walls were once brightly coloured.
She was a teacher once.
When once is used with this meaning, it usually goes after be or an auxiliary verb, or at the end of a clause.
Be careful
Don't use ‘once’ to show that something will happen at some time in the future. Instead you use one day for events in the distant future, or sometime for things that might happen fairly soon.
One day, you'll be very glad we stopped you.
I'll give you a ring sometime.
‘at once’
If you do something at once, you do it immediately.
She stopped playing at once.
I knew at once that something was wrong.
'once' also found in these entries:
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