Meaning of nonce word in English:

nonce word


  • A word coined for one single occasion only.

    ‘English bristles with nonce words’
    • ‘One researcher thinks that didgeridoo may be an Irish coinage, a nonce word like boogaloo or dingaling.’
    • ‘Here's a list of nonce words in my colourful vocabulary that have not yet found their way into any dictionary.’
    • ‘Another sort of punning found in newspapers is the allusive re-using of nonce words from slogans.’
    • ‘The word 'truth' is morphed into the nonce-word 'tlooth' in the title of Mathews's second novel.’
    • ‘Nonce-words in ing are formed freely on words or phrases of many kinds, e.g. oh-ing, hear-hearing, hoo-hooing, pshawing, yo-hoing.’
    new word, new expression, new term, new phrase, coinage, newly coined word, made-up word, invented word, invention, nonce word


Late 19th century from nonce + word.