hapax legomenon love

hapax legomenon


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A word or form that occurs only once in the recorded corpus of a given language.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A word occurring only once in a given corpus.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a word with a special meaning used for a special occasion


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Greek : hapax, once + legomenon, neuter sing. passive participle of legein, to count, say.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek ἅπαξ λεγόμενον ("(something) said only once").


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  • I had a professor who insisted we know the plural, hapax legomena

    December 2, 2006

  • How disappointing that hapax legomenon occurs in multiple lists.

    December 10, 2006

  • Those of us who are on a first-name basis just call this one hapax. :-)

    December 10, 2006

  • I found negromancer, presumably black magician, in the Burton translation of the Arabian Nights. Looked it up in the 2nd edition of OED & found it was listed as having occurred only once -- in Burton's translation of the Arabian Nights!

    September 18, 2007

  • hapax legomenon, the googlewhack of ancient texts.

    October 8, 2007

  • Beautiful comment by wolfson. Wherever you are, we need you back.

    December 25, 2007

  • Obligatory Dinosaur Comics link.

    March 25, 2009

  • perhaps more properly named happenstance legomenon

    April 19, 2009

  • Your definition is too restrictive. hapex legomena are those word in a frequency count of any body of text which appear only once. The inference is that one cannot predict anything about their overall frequency based on a single occurrence.

    June 21, 2009

  • I shall say this only once...

    September 26, 2009

  • I learned this word from Geoff Nunberg

    March 31, 2010