once in a lifetime

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once in a lifetime

A hyperbolic phrase used to describe things or situations that seem unlikely to happen again. You have to take this job in the Zurich office—it's a once in a lifetime opportunity to live in Switzerland.
See also: lifetime, once

once in a lifetime

Extremely rare, especially as an opportunity. For example, An offer like that will come just once in a lifetime. This phrase, often used hyperbolically, was first recorded in 1854. Also see of one's life.
See also: lifetime, once