Again vs Once - What's the difference?

again | once |

As adverbs the difference between again and once

is that again is (label) back in the reverse direction, or to an original starting point while once is before.

As a preposition again

is (obsolete or dialectal) against.

As a noun once is




(wikipedia again)

Alternative forms

* againe, agayne, ageyne (obsolete); agin (colloquial or humorous)


  • (label) Back in the reverse direction, or to an original starting point.
  • * 1526 , The Bible , tr. (William Tyndale), (w) 2:
  • And after they were warned in ther slepe, that they shulde not go ageyne to Herod, they retourned into ther awne countre another way.
  • Back (to a former place or state).
  • * {{quote-book, year=1963, author=(Margery Allingham), chapter=19
  • , title= The China Governess , passage=Meanwhile Nanny Broome was recovering from her initial panic and seemed anxious to make up for any kudos she might have lost, by exerting her personality to the utmost. She took the policeman's helmet and placed it on a chair, and unfolded his tunic to shake it and fold it up again for him.}}
  • (label) In return, as a reciprocal action; back.
  • * :
  • but Merlyn warned the kynge couertly that gweneuer was not holsome for hym to take to wyf / for he warned hym that launcelot shold loue her and she hym ageyne
  • * , II.31:
  • So women are never angrie, but to the end a man should againe be angrie with them, therein imitating the lawes of Love.
  • * , I.2.4.vii:
  • Thus men are plagued with women, they again with men, when they are of diverse humours and conditions.
  • * 1852–3 , (Charles Dickens), (Bleak House)
  • As he lies in the light before a glaring white target, the black upon him shines again .
  • Another time; once more.
  • *
  • , title=(The Celebrity), chapter=8 , passage=The humor of my proposition appealed more strongly to Miss Trevor than I had looked for, and from that time forward she became her old self again';
  • * , chapter=1
  • , title= Mr. Pratt's Patients, chapter=1 , passage=Thinks I to myself, “Sol, you're run off your course again. This is a rich man's summer ‘cottage’
  • * 1931 , Robert L. May, Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer , Montgomery Ward (publisher), draft:
  • He tangled in tree-tops again' and ' again / And barely missed hitting a tri-motored plane.
  • * 1979 , Charles Edward Daniels et al., “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” (song), Million Mile Reflections , Charlie Daniels Band, Epic Records:
  • Johnny said, “Devil, just come on back if you ever want to try again / I done told you once, you son of a bitch, I’m the best that’s ever been.”
  • * 2010 , Simon Hattenstone, The Guardian , 30 October:
  • The last sentence is so shocking, I have to read it again .
  • Over and above a factor of one.
  • * 1908 December 10, , “New Genera and Species of Crinoids”, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington , Volume XXI, pp.229–230:
  • Cirri l-lxxx, 15, about 12mm. long; first two joints short, about twice as broad as long; third about one-third again' [=one and one-third times] as long as broad; fourth and fifth the longest, about half ' again [=one and a half times] as long as broad;.
  • # Tell me again, say again;
  • # I ask again, I say again;
  • # Here too, here also, in this case as well;
  • #*
  • A great bargain also had been the excellent Axminster carpet which covered the floor; as, again , the arm-chair in which Bunting now sat forward, staring into the dull, small fire.
  • (label) In any other place.
  • (Francis Bacon)
  • (label) On the other hand.
  • * (rfdate) (William Shakespeare) (1564–1616)
  • The one is my sovereignthe other again is my kinsman.
  • Moreover; besides; further.
  • * (rfdate) Hersche
  • Again , it is of great consequence to avoid, etc.

    Derived terms

    * again and again * again-coming * once again


    (English prepositions)
  • (obsolete or dialectal) Against.
  • * 1485 , Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur , Book X:
  • And here begynneth the treson of Kynge Marke that he ordayned agayne Sir Trystram.
  • * 1924 , J H Wilkinson, Leeds Dialect Glossary and Lore , page 60
  • Ah'd like to wahrn (warn) thi agaan 'evvin owt to dew wi' that chap.
  • * 2003 , Glasgow Sunday Herald, page 16, column 2:
  • You may think you are all on the same side, agin the government.



    Usage notes

    The pronunciation /???e?n/ is chiefly poetic. 200 English basic words English sequence adverbs 1000 English basic words ----



    (wikipedia once)


  • (lb) One and only one time.
  • :
  • (lb) Formerly; during some period in the past.
  • :
  • *
  • *: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.
  • *{{quote-book, year=1944, author=(w)
  • , title= The Three Corpse Trick, chapter=5 , passage=The hovel stood in the centre of what had once been a vegetable garden, but was now a patch of rank weeds. Surrounding this, almost like a zareba, was an irregular ring of gorse and brambles, an unclaimed vestige of the original common.}}
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-14, author=(Jonathan Freedland)
  • , volume=189, issue=1, page=18, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) , title= Obama's once hip brand is now tainted , passage=Now we are liberal with our innermost secrets, spraying them into the public ether with a generosity our forebears could not have imagined. Where we once sent love letters in a sealed envelope, or stuck photographs of our children in a family album, now such private material is despatched to servers and clouds operated by people we don't know and will never meet.}}
  • (lb) Multiplied by one: indicating that a number is multiplied by one.
  • :
  • As soon as.
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-07, author= Ed Pilkington
  • , volume=188, issue=26, page=6, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) , title= ‘Killer robots’ should be banned in advance, UN told , passage=In his submission to the UN, [Christof] Heyns points to the experience of drones. Unmanned aerial vehicles were intended initially only for surveillance, and their use for offensive purposes was prohibited, yet once strategists realised their perceived advantages as a means of carrying out targeted killings, all objections were swept out of the way.}}

    Coordinate terms

    * (one time) twice, thrice, often, never, seldom * (formerly) yesterday, tomorrow

    See also

    * once again, once more * once and for all * once in a blue moon * once in a while * once removed * once upon a time


    (English Conjunctions)
  • As soon as; when; after.
  • We'll get a move on once we find the damn car keys!
    Once you have obtained the elven bow, return to the troll bridge and trade it for the sleeping potion.
    Once he is married, he will be able to claim the inheritance.
  • * {{quote-news, year=2011
  • , date=September 27 , author=Alistair Magowan , title=Bayern Munich 2 - 0 Man City , work=BBC Sport citation , page= , passage=Not only were Jupp Heynckes' team pacey in attack but they were relentless in their pursuit of the ball once they had lost it, and as the game wore on they merely increased their dominance as City wilted in the Allianz Arena.}}