Basic+ Word of the Day: once

once (adverb, conjuction) LISTEN

The poet Dylan Thomas once lived here.

If you do something once, it means that you do it one time.

  • I tried it once but I didn’t like it.
  • I go to the gym once a week.

We can use once to mean that something was true in the past.

  • William Shakespeare once lived here.

We can also use once to say that something will only happen when another thing happens in the future.

  • Once Sharon arrives, we can start the meeting. (=The meeting will start when Sharon arrives.)

Common uses

When we do something sometimes, but not very often, we can say that we do it once in a while. For example: “Do you cycle to work?” “Not every day, but once in a while.”

Did you know?

Lots of children’s stories (the kind of stories about princesses and evil queens) start with the words, “Once upon a time…” It means that the story happened a long time ago.

In pop culture

Once Upon a Time is an American TV show. It has a lot of people from children’s stories in it, for example Snow White and Captain Hook. They all live in a place called Storybrooke, and they can’t leave because the evil queen wants everyone to stay there. Watch this ad for Once Upon a Time. Do you think the show is for adults or children?

There are other meanings of once.

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Word of the Day is released Monday through Friday.

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