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Once upon a time my political opponents honored me as possessing the fabulous intellectual and economic power by which I created a worldwide depression all by myself.
Herbert Hoover

Meaning of "once upon a time" in the English dictionary

Dictionary
DICTIONARY
section

PRONUNCIATION OF ONCE UPON A TIME

once upon a time play
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WHAT DOES ONCE UPON A TIME MEAN IN ENGLISH?

once upon a time

Once upon a time

"Once upon a time" is a stock phrase that has been used in some form since at least 1380 in storytelling in the English language and has opened many oral narratives since 1600. These stories often then end with "and they all lived happily ever after," or, originally, "happily until their deaths." These are examples of the narrative form and occur most frequently in the narratives produced for children aged between 6 and 8. The phrase is particularly relevant in fairy tales for younger children, where it is almost always the opening line of a tale. It was commonly used in the original translations of the stories of Charles Perrault as a translation for the French "il était une fois", of Hans Christian Andersen as a translation for the Danish "der var engang", and the Brothers Grimm as a translation for the German "es war einmal". The phrase is also frequently used in such oral stories as retellings of myths, fables, and folklore. It is used almost always in past tense sentences.

WORDS THAT BEGIN LIKE ONCE UPON A TIME

once
once and away
once and for all
once bitten, twice shy
once in a blue moon
once in a while
once or twice
once-only
once-over
oncer
onchocerciases
onchocerciasis
oncidium
oncogen
oncogene
oncogenesis
oncogeneticist
oncogenic
oncogenicity
oncogenous

WORDS THAT END LIKE ONCE UPON A TIME

ahead of time
all the time
at one time
at the same time
big time
from time to time
full time
in good time
in no time
in the fullness of time
in the nick of time
in time
local time
on time
opening time
real time
short time
spare time
summer time
the big time
time

Synonyms and antonyms of once upon a time in the English dictionary of synonyms

SYNONYMS

Translation of «once upon a time» into 25 languages

TRANSLATOR
online translator

TRANSLATION OF ONCE UPON A TIME

Find out the translation of once upon a time to 25 languages with our English multilingual translator.
The translations of once upon a time from English to other languages presented in this section have been obtained through automatic statistical translation; where the essential translation unit is the word «once upon a time» in English.

Translator English - Chinese

曾几何时
1,325 millions of speakers

Translator English - Spanish

había una vez
570 millions of speakers

English

once upon a time
510 millions of speakers

Translator English - Hindi

एक बार की बात है
380 millions of speakers
ar

Translator English - Arabic

ذات مرة
280 millions of speakers

Translator English - Russian

однажды
278 millions of speakers

Translator English - Portuguese

era uma vez
270 millions of speakers

Translator English - Bengali

এককালে
260 millions of speakers

Translator English - French

il était une fois
220 millions of speakers

Translator English - Malay

Pada suatu masa dahulu
190 millions of speakers

Translator English - German

Es war einmal
180 millions of speakers

Translator English - Japanese

昔々
130 millions of speakers

Translator English - Korean

옛날 옛적에
85 millions of speakers

Translator English - Javanese

jaman bien
85 millions of speakers
vi

Translator English - Vietnamese

một lần khi một thời gian
80 millions of speakers

Translator English - Tamil

முன்னொரு காலத்தில்
75 millions of speakers

Translator English - Marathi

एके काळी
75 millions of speakers

Translator English - Turkish

bir Zamanlar
70 millions of speakers

Translator English - Italian

c´era una volta
65 millions of speakers

Translator English - Polish

kiedyś
50 millions of speakers

Translator English - Ukrainian

одного разу
40 millions of speakers

Translator English - Romanian

După ce, la un moment dat
30 millions of speakers
el

Translator English - Greek

μια φορά κι έναν καιρό
15 millions of speakers
af

Translator English - Afrikaans

eens op ´n tyd
14 millions of speakers
sv

Translator English - Swedish

en gång i tiden
10 millions of speakers
no

Translator English - Norwegian

det var en gang
5 millions of speakers

Trends of use of once upon a time

TRENDS

TENDENCIES OF USE OF THE TERM «ONCE UPON A TIME»

The term «once upon a time» is very widely used and occupies the 19.139 position in our list of most widely used terms in the English dictionary.
0
100%
FREQUENCY
Very widely used
91
/100
The map shown above gives the frequency of use of the term «once upon a time» in the different countries.
Principal search tendencies and common uses of once upon a time
List of principal searches undertaken by users to access our English online dictionary and most widely used expressions with the word «once upon a time».

FREQUENCY OF USE OF THE TERM «ONCE UPON A TIME» OVER TIME

The graph expresses the annual evolution of the frequency of use of the word «once upon a time» during the past 500 years. Its implementation is based on analysing how often the term «once upon a time» appears in digitalised printed sources in English between the year 1500 and the present day.

Examples of use in the English literature, quotes and news about once upon a time

EXAMPLES

8 QUOTES WITH «ONCE UPON A TIME»

Famous quotes and sentences with the word once upon a time.
1
John D. Barrow
There was no 'before' the beginning of our universe, because once upon a time there was no time.
2
Carlo Collodi
Once upon a time there was a piece of wood. It was not an expensive piece of wood. Far from it. Just a common block of firewood, one of those thick, solid logs that are put on the fire in winter to make cold rooms cozy and warm.
3
Anton du Beke
Ballroom dancing: it's a wonderful thing at so many levels because you've got to follow the rules. They used to call those rules etiquette once upon a time, but you don't really have that any more.
4
Herbert Hoover
Once upon a time my political opponents honored me as possessing the fabulous intellectual and economic power by which I created a worldwide depression all by myself.
5
Tony Kaye
So I've tried to be this very eccentric character, and that works very well if you want to be a painter which I did once upon a time, if you want to be a musician which I did once upon a time. But if you want to make movies and you want to make challenging movies, you've got to be the sanest person in the room.
6
Johnny Mercer
Once upon a time the world was sweeter than we knew. Everything was ours; how happy we were then, but then once upon a time never comes again.
7
Charles Perrault
Once upon a time there was a Queen who had a son so ugly and so misshapen that it was long disputed whether he had human form. A fairy who was at his birth said, however, that he would be very amiable for all that, since he would have uncommon good sense.
8
Charles Perrault
Once upon a time there was a widow who had two daughters. The elder was so much like her, both in looks and character, that whoever saw the daughter saw the mother.

10 ENGLISH BOOKS RELATING TO «ONCE UPON A TIME»

Discover the use of once upon a time in the following bibliographical selection. Books relating to once upon a time and brief extracts from same to provide context of its use in English literature.
1
Once Upon a Time
A small boy describes an uneventful day while around him all manner of dramas are taking place with a host of fairytale & nursery characters. 2-5 yrs.
‎1998
2
Reawakened: A Once Upon a Time Tale
Emma Swan’s life has been anything but a fairy tale.
Odette Beane, 2013
3
Once Upon a Time in the North [With Peril of the Pole Board ...
In a time before Lyra Silvertongue was born, the tough American balloonist Lee Scoresby and the great armoured bear Iorek Byrnison meet when Lee and his hare daemon Hester crash-land their trading balloon onto a port in the far Arctic North ...
Philip Pullman, 2008
4
Once Upon a Time Saints
Relates briefly the lives and deeds of nineteen saints including Germaine, Swithin, Clement, and Bridgid.
Ethel Pochocki, 1996
5
Once Upon a Time, There Was You
BONUS: This edition contains a Once Upon a Time, There Was You discussion guide.
Elizabeth Berg, 2011
6
Once Upon a Time Machine
Fairy tales have fueled our dreams and fired our imaginations for centuries.
Lee Nordling, 2012
7
Once Upon a Time in Italy: The Westerns of Sergio Leone
An illustrated exploration of the mid-twentieth-century filmmaker's "spaghetti westerns" considers his role in defining the genre, his visual style and elliptical storytelling methods, and his creation of such works as A Fistful of Dollars ...
Christopher Frayling, 2005
8
Once upon a time
The author describes her childhood in Ireland, her life in the United States, and her work routines
Eve Bunting, John Pezaris, 1995
9
Once Upon a Time: A True Story
The celebrity artist and designer recreates the glamour and terror of her childhood when she became a legend as the "poor little rich girl" during a notorious custody trial and vividly depicting the adults who loved and battled over her
Gloria Vanderbilt, 1986
10
Storybook Toys: Sew 16 Projects from Once Upon a Time • ...
Learn toy-making tips to give your creation personal style and a sweet disposition. Author Jill Hamor gives ideas for involving children in the process to teach them basic sewing skills.
Jill Hamor, 2012

10 NEWS ITEMS WHICH INCLUDE THE TERM «ONCE UPON A TIME»

Find out what the national and international press are talking about and how the term once upon a time is used in the context of the following news items.
1
Spoiler Room: Scoop on Once, Gotham, The Flash and more
'Once Upon a Time,' 'Originals,' more fresh TV spoilers. How are the Charmings dealing with Emma going dark on Once Upon a Time? — Luis «Entertainment Weekly, Jul 15»
2
'Once Upon a Time' Spoilers: Charming Has Hot New 'Bromance …
Poor Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) and Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin). They just can't catch a break on "Once Upon a Time" -- but at least ... «Moviefone, Jul 15»
3
Once Upon A Time
Tomorrow, 25th July 2015, marks 50 years since Bob Dylan 'went electric' at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Dylan made history when he ... «Genesis Publications, Jul 15»
4
'Once Upon A Time' Season 5 Spoilers: What Is Next For Hook And …
Once Upon a Time Season 5 will bring the dark side out of Emma Swan. The cast is currently filming episodes for the new season, and some ... «The Inquisitr, Jul 15»
5
'Once Upon a Time' Interview: Lana Parrilla on Regina Becoming …
Emma is going to become the Dark Swan in Once Upon a Time season 5 - and that's because she stepped in in the season 4 finale to save ... «BuddyTV, Jul 15»
6
'Once Upon A Time' Season 5 Spoilers: First Glimpse Of King Arthur …
(Photo : Facebook/"Once Upon a Time" Official Page) "Once Upon a Time" season 5 behind-the-scenes pics reveal a first glimpse of King ... «Fashion & Style, Jul 15»
7
Everything We Know About 'Once Upon a Time' Season 5
Over four seasons, Once Upon a Time has introduced quite a few fairy tale villains for Emma Swan to battle. Good always managed to prevail ... «Yahoo News, Jul 15»
8
Keegan Connor Tracy and Emilie de Ravin Snap a Magical 'Once
It seems that things are getting pretty magical on the set of Once Upon a Time. Keegan Connor Tracy, who plays the Blue Fairy/Mother Superior ... «WhoSay, Jul 15»
9
'Once Upon a Time' Update: Merida is NOT Rumple's Mother
“Brave's” Merida is coming to “Once Upon a Time” and some “OUAT” fans are under the impression that Merida is Rumple's long-lost mother. «Movie News Guide, Jul 15»
10
'Once Upon a Time' alum Georgina Haig signs up for new Syfy series
Elsa - For all of those who watched this past season of “Once Upon a Time,” you know Georgina Haig very well for playing the part of Elsa. «CarterMatt.com, Jul 15»

REFERENCE
« EDUCALINGO. Once upon a time [online]. Available <https://educalingo.com/en/dic-en/once-upon-a-time>. Jul 2021 ».
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