Main definitions of nonce in English

: nonce1nonce2

nonce1

adjective

  • (of a word or expression) coined for one occasion.

    ‘a nonce word’
    • ‘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.’

Phrases

    for the nonce
    • For the present; temporarily.

      ‘its resources make it a major player for the nonce’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I hope the massive quantities of text I put up earlier will suffice for the nonce.’
      • ‘You have escaped your chains for the nonce, so, be content!’
      • ‘But if you are going to intervene in the north, and abandon your interests in the south for the nonce, then you may as well do so quickly.’
      • ‘Democracy Radio, which for the nonce has only two nationally syndicated programs, broadcasting a combined six hours a week, is on about twice as many stations as Air America.’
      • ‘For the nonce though, I leave you with this thought.’

Origin

Middle English from then anes ‘the one (purpose’) (from then, obsolete oblique form of the + ane ‘one’ + -s), altered by wrong division; compare with newt and nickname.

Pronunciation

nonce

/nɒns/

Main definitions of nonce in English

: nonce1nonce2

nonce2

noun

British informal
  • A person convicted of a sexual offence, especially against a child.

    • ‘They accused her of being a "nonce" and over the next hour-and-a-half she was subjected to a terrifying ordeal.’
    • ‘They started to become verbally aggressive towards them calling them names like 'nonce' during a tirade of abuse.’
    • ‘Some supporters behind the goal were calling him a nonce.’
    • ‘The defendant said his stepfather was a nonce.’
    • ‘The landlord seems to be finding it tough in prison after being called a "nonce" by the inmates.’

Origin

1970s of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

nonce

/nɒns/