English - Etymology
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.
English - Pronunciation
- enPR: wŭn(t)s, IPA(key): /wʌn(t)s/
- Rhymes: -ʌns
- one and once are pronounced differently from the related words alone, only and atone. Stressed vowels often become diphthongs over time (Latin bona → Italian buona and Spanish buena), and this happened in the late Middle Ages to the words one and once, first recorded ca 1400: the vowel underwent some changes, from ōn → ōōōn → wōn → wōōn → wŏŏn → wŭn.
English - Adverb
- (frequency) One and only one time.
(temporal location) Formerly; during some period in the past.
1879, Richard Jefferies, The Amateur Poacher, chapterII:
- Orion hit a rabbit once; but though sore wounded it got to the bury, and, struggling in, the arrow caught the side of the hole and was drawn out. Indeed, a nail filed sharp is not of much avail as an arrowhead; you must have it barbed, and that was a little beyond our skill. Ikey the blacksmith had forged us a spearhead after a sketch from a picture of a Greek warrior; and a rake-handle served as a shaft.
- 1879, Richard Jefferies, The Amateur Poacher, chapterII:
- (mathematics) Multiplied by one: indicating that a number is multiplied by one.
- As soon as.
- once again, once more
- once and for all
- once in a blue moon
- once in a while
- once removed
- once upon a time
English - Conjunction
- As soon as; when; after.