at once


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at once

1. Immediately. I need you to call me at once—we have an urgent matter to discuss. The boss wants you to start working on this report at once.
2. At the same time. Don't try to carry more than two boxes at once—they're heavy! I can't understand a word with all of you screaming at once.
See also: once

at once

immediately; right now. We must leave at once! You must come here at once; it is an emergency.
See also: once

at once

1. At the same time, as in We can't all fit into the boat at once. [First half of 1200s] Also see at one time, def. 1.
2. Immediately, as in Mother told the children to come inside at once. [First half of 1500s]
See also: once

at ˈonce


1 immediately: I’m afraid there’s a problem. I must ask you to leave the building at once.
2 at the same time: Don’t all speak at once!I’m not superwoman, you know. I can’t do a hundred things at once.
See also: once

at once

1. All at one time; simultaneously: Everything happened at once. The view of the skyline is at once awesome, grand, and disappointing.
2. Immediately; instantly: Leave the room at once.
See also: once
References in classic literature ?
He went back at once and carried them to the grand-vizir as he had promised.
"I shall fall down!" flashed through his mind, but the unknown began to speak and he recovered himself at once.
While they were knocking and talking together, the idea several times occurred to him to end it all at once and shout to them through the door.
If anyone had come into his room then, he would have jumped up at once and screamed.
The ventrilo-quized sound track at once reemphasized the distancing obsolescence of both machines and made felt their effusively physical presence.
If that slippage had happened all at once, seismic instruments would have measured a magnitude-6.8 quake.
The second panel presented a nude female torso, its pubic hair shaved away to expose a slit of flesh that seemed at once a gash or wound caused by the adjacent beak but also, in its sharp parallel lines, a visual analog to the beak, thus rendering the implied meaning of the photograph indeterminate: Is woman sexual victim or castrator, innocent recipient of male violence or cause of it?
The country lacks political direction, he argues, not because voters are ambivalent but because politicians with various political beliefs are tugging it in a hundred different directions at once.
It gets really disorienting, especially when a half-dozen characters are on-screen at once.
But to want to repeat it, to come back to it!" These works, like his renderings of phantasmic heads and other quasi-figurative works of the '40s (by which time he'd returned to the use of a white ground, though only on the condition that it be sufficiently soaked for his inks and watercolors to merge with it), clearly parallel Michaux's books of this era, which describe invented cultures, at once extending and parodying his own imaginative travel writings.
With its fetal spirit-children and gnarled oak tree becoming at once a monstrous hand, foot, and head, it provided a grandly orchestrated finale for Surrealism's regressions to our roots in infancy and nature.
Or, to put it another way, the viewer is already part of the work itself: the same person takes on the role of producer, product, and receiver at once. Welcome to Nauman's land.
And as the flag freezes in mid wave, time appears to stop: our cosmic biker stands on the threshold of eternity, yet he perceives only the same nagging contradiction--paradise at once found and lost, a world perched at both the beginning and the end of history, a garden of dust.