Definition of at once in English:

at once


  • 1Immediately.

    ‘I fell asleep at once’
    • ‘Dust the soufflés with icing sugar and serve at once with the chocolate sauce and fresh berries.’
    • ‘Anyone with concerns is asked to contact their nearest health centre at once.’
    • ‘If it is broken it must be used at once, for it discolours and spoils quickly.’
    • ‘Mr Lane urged any parents who have concerns about the disease to seek medical help at once.’
    • ‘He had seen his future wife Nancy when she was only 13 and decided at once that she was the only girl for him.’
    • ‘The call goes to Birkenshaw who have files on all the area and can direct a fire crew to me at once.’
    • ‘There would have been every reason for them to have made such facts public at once.’
    • ‘Campaigners fighting to keep homes for the elderly open urged the Council to spend the pot of cash at once.’
    • ‘When using oil, the mixture should be combined as quickly as possible, then baked at once.’
    • ‘In most companies, employees have got used to going back to work at once after lunch.’
    immediately, right away, right now, this instant, this minute, this moment, this second, now, straight away, instantly, instantaneously, directly, suddenly, abruptly, summarily, forthwith, promptly, without delay, without hesitation, without further ado
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  • 2At the same time; simultaneously.

    ‘computers that can do many things at once’
    • ‘The months seem to be slipping by very quickly now, and I'm working on two issues at once at the moment.’
    • ‘In the low light of the gallery the effect is at once beautiful and rather ominous.’
    • ‘Fast bowlers are a bit like buses, none for ages and then two come along at once.’
    • ‘A mean, penetrating rain, the type that comes at you from all directions at once.’
    • ‘Blogger has suddenly started emailing me comments again so they all arrived at once.’
    • ‘Most games that try to do a lot of things at once fall apart at the seams, so both of these are something special.’
    • ‘There was a slow churning of his thought processes as two ideas came together at once.’
    • ‘Everything is happening at once at the moment, in a manner that is proving really rather hard to deal with.’
    • ‘He's trying to do his job but he can't be everywhere and see everything at once.’
    • ‘A few trains arrived at once and all of a sudden thousands swarmed the exit all pushing and miserable.’
    at the same time, at one and the same time, at the same instant, at the same moment, together, all together, simultaneously
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