Definitions

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

  • adverb One time only.
  • adverb At one time in the past; formerly.
  • adverb At any time; ever.
  • adverb By one degree of relationship.
  • noun A single occurrence; one time.
  • conjunction As soon as; if ever; when.
  • adjective Having been formerly; former.
  • idiom (at once) All at one time; simultaneously.
  • idiom (at once) Immediately; instantly.
  • idiom (once more/again) Another time; again.
  • idiom (once more/again) As usual; in typical fashion.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An obsolete form of ounce.
  • One time.
  • One and the same time: usually with at: as, they all cried out at once. See phrases below.
  • At one time in the past; formerly.
  • At some future time; some time or other.
  • At any time; in any contingency; on any occasion; under any circumstances; ever.
  • Without delay; immediately: often merely expletive: as, John, come here once.
  • Once for all.
  • Immediately; forthwith; without delay.
  • When at any time; whenever; as soon as.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adverb For one time; by limitation to the number one; not twice nor any number of times more than one.
  • adverb At some one period of time; -- used indefinitely.
  • adverb At any one time; -- often nearly equivalent to ever, if ever, or whenever.
  • adverb At one and the same time; simultaneously; in one body.
  • adverb once and once more; repeatedly.
  • noun (Zoöl.) The ounce.

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

  • adverb frequency One and only one time.
  • adverb temporal location Formerly; during some period in the past.
  • adverb mathematics multiplied by one: indicating that a number is multiplied by one
  • conjunction As soon as; when; after.

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

  • adverb as soon as
  • adverb at a previous time
  • adverb on one occasion

Etymologies

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

[Middle English ones, from on, one, from Old English ān; see oi-no- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English ones (genitive of on ("one") used adverbally), from Old English ānes ("of one"), genitive of ān ("one"). Compare Old Saxon ēnes (Dutch eens, "once"), Old High German einēst ("once") (German einst). More at one, -s.

Examples

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