There are 2 main definitions of nonce in English:


Syllabification: nonce
Pronunciation: /näns


(Of a word or expression) coined for or used on one occasion: a nonce usage
More example sentences
  • Is this a nonce instance, or are ‘home’ and ‘hone’ trading places?
  • Among sports we have terms like parascending and surfari, and nonce adjectives such as sportsational or swimsational which blend words with the last element of sensational.


Middle English: from then anes 'the one (purpose)' (from then, obsolete oblique form of the + ane 'one' + -s3), altered by misdivision; compare with newt and nickname.


for the nonce

For the present; temporarily: the room had been converted for the nonce into a nursery
More example sentences
  • Just work with me for the nonce, and agree that whether or not your position happens to be the legally correct one, it is very, very hard to separate your opinion on the law from your opinion on the candidates.
  • Force his attention to the facts and he will, to be sure, appear for the nonce to take cognizance of them, will even be troubled, for he is not inhumane.
  • That does mean using the military for ‘nation-building’ in some way or other, for the nonce.
for the time being, temporarily, pro tem, for now, for the moment, for the interim, for a while, for the present, in the meantime;

Definition of nonce in:

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There are 2 main definitions of nonce in English:


Syllabification: nonce
Pronunciation: /


British informal
A person convicted of a sexual offense, especially child molesting.
More example sentences
  • But why not give an amnesty to all the dopefiends, which would give us more space for the murderers, rapists, and nonces?
  • If they're not terrorists, they're probably nonces anyway.
  • And Tiffany was way too boring to fetch the eye of the nonce.


1970s: of unknown origin.

Definition of nonce in: