Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- attonce (obsolete)
- (obsolete) In one group; together.
- (idiomatic) At the same time; simultaneously.
- Can you pat your head and rub your belly at once? He tried to eat four cookies at once.
2013 August 10, Lexington, “Keeping the mighty honest”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8848:
- The [Washington] Post's proprietor through those turbulent [Watergate] days, Katharine Graham, held a double place in Washington’s hierarchy: at once regal Georgetown hostess and scrappy newshound, ready to hold the establishment to account.
- (idiomatic) Immediately; now; right away.
- Tell the doctor to come at once. She is having a baby.
1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, The Celebrity:
- Mr. Cooke at once began a tirade against the residents of Asquith for permitting a sandy and generally disgraceful condition of the roads. So roundly did he vituperate the inn management in particular, and with such a loud flow of words, that I trembled lest he should be heard on the veranda.
1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 3, The Mirror and the Lamp:
- One saint's day in mid-term a certain newly appointed suffragan-bishop came to the school chapel, and there preached on “The Inner Life.” He at once secured attention by his informal method, and when presently the coughing of Jarvis […] interrupted the sermon, he altogether captivated his audience with a remark about cough lozenges being cheap and easily procurable.
1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 19, The China Governess:
- As soon as Julia returned with a constable, Timothy, who was on the point of exhaustion, prepared to give over to him gratefully. The newcomer turned out to be a powerful youngster, fully trained and eager to help, and he stripped off his tunic at once.
at the same time