Definition of hapax legomenon noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


hapax legomenon

BrE BrE//ˌhæpæks lɪˈɡɒmɪnɒn//
; NAmE NAmE//ˌhæpæks ləˈɡɑːmənɑːn//
(pl. hapax legomena
BrE BrE//ˌhæpæks lɪˈɡɒmɪnə//
; NAmE NAmE//ˌhæpæks ləˈɡɑːmənə//
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a word or phrase which is recorded as having been used only once Word Originmid 17th cent.: Greek, ‘a thing said once’, from hapax ‘once’ and the passive participle of legein ‘to say’.