hapax legomenon

hapax legomenon

[hap-aks li-gom-uh-non, hey-paks]
noun, plural hapax legomena [hap-aks li-gom-uh-nuh, hey-paks] .
a word or phrase that appears only once in a manuscript, document, or particular area of literature.

Origin:
1880–85; < Greek hápax legómenon (thing) once said

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World English Dictionary
hapax legomenon (ˈhæpæks ləˈɡɒmɪˌnɒn)
 
n , pl hapax legomena
another term for nonce word
 
[Greek: thing said only once]

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Word Origin & History

hapax legomenon
(pl. legomena), 1654, "word occurring only once," from Gk., lit. "once said" (cf. haplos "simple, single," used in Eng. in scientific compounds).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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