Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


Wikipedia has an article on:

Etymology 1[edit]

From rebracketing in Middle English of þan anes(the one (occasion, instance)).



nonce (plural nonces)

  1. The one or single occasion; the present reason or purpose (now only in for the nonce).
    That will do for the nonce, but we'll need a better answer for the long term.
    • 1857, Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers, chapter 6:
      'Idiot!' exclaimed the doctor, who for the nonce was not capable of more than such spasmodic attempts at utterance.
  2. (lexicography) A nonce word.
    I had thought that the term was a nonce, but it seems as if it's been picked up by other authors.


nonce (not comparable)

  1. denoting something occurring once.

Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Unknown. UK criminal slang. Possibly originally from dialectal nonce, nonse(stupid, worthless individual), or Nance, nance(effeminate man), from Nancy boy.

See Wikipedia article for further discussion.


nonce (plural nonces)

  1. (Britain, slang, pejorative) A sex offender, especially of children.
    That bloke who lives at number 53 is a nonce!
  2. (Britain, slang) A stupid or worthless person.
    Shut it, ya nonce!

Etymology 3[edit]

Contraction of number used once.


nonce (plural nonces)

  1. (cryptography) A value constructed so as to be unique to a particular message in a stream, in order to prevent replay attacks.
    In this protocol we use the serial number of the message as a nonce.
    • 1999, Network Working Group, RFC 2617 – HTTP Authentication: Basic and Digest Access Authentication, The Internet Society, page 22,
      The information gained by the eavesdropper would permit a replay attack, but only with a request for the same document, and even that may be limited by the server's choice of nonce.




nonce m (plural nonces)

  1. nuncio


External links[edit]