nonce word

nonce word

a word coined and used only for a particular occasion. Compare neologism ( def 1 ).

1880–85 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
nonce word
a word coined for a single occasion

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Encyclopedia Britannica

nonce word

a word coined and used apparently to suit one particular occasion. Nonce words are sometimes used independently by different writers and speakers, but they are not adopted into general use. James Joyce employed many such words in Finnegans Wake (1939). In A Clockwork Orange (1962), the novelist Anthony Burgess created a large vocabulary of nonce words, a language he called nadsat. His protagonist, Alex, speaks and thinks in nadsat, which is a blend of Cockney slang and Russian. Examples of nadsat nonce words include the terms britva ("razor"), mounch ("snack"), and privodeet ("to lead somewhere"). Compare portmanteau word.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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