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once-over

[wuhns-oh-ver] /ˈwʌnsˌoʊ vər/
noun, Informal.
1.
a quick look, examination, or appraisal.
2.
a quick, superficial job:
He gave the car just a once-over with a rag.
Origin of once-over
1910-1915
1910-15, Americanism
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for once-over
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You're a good steady driver, and the road's perfectly safe—if you give people the once-over before you pick 'em up.

    Free Air Sinclair Lewis
  • "And gave you the once-over in the big room," Chan declared.

    Seed of the Arctic Ice H. G. Winter
  • I always find I can get along better after givin' it a once-over, no matter how well I know it.'

    Atlantic Narratives Mary Antin
  • But he came to immediate, and we all stood at attention while he give that bundle the once-over.

    Believe You Me! Nina Wilcox Putnam
  • Were going to give this valley the once-over with a fine-toothed comb.

  • I gave Coakley's lay-out the once-over, saw it wouldn't do, and told him what I wanted.

    Linda Lee, Incorporated Louis Joseph Vance
  • I got just about the once-over from every brute there, and that was all.

    Somewhere in Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • Then I'll go down and give my property the once-over, and be up tomorrow to get what I need.

    The Heritage of the Hills Arthur P. Hankins
  • Every motor, machine and conveyor in the place was being given the once-over.

    The Shadow Passes Roy J. Snell
British Dictionary definitions for once-over

once-over

noun (informal)
1.
a quick examination or appraisal
2.
a quick but comprehensive piece of work
3.
a violent beating or thrashing (esp in the phrase give (a person or thing) the (or a) once-over)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for once-over
n.

"inspection," 1913, from once + over.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for once-over

once-over

noun phrase

A hasty cursory performance or preparation; a LICK AND A PROMISE: a razor for a hasty once-over (1940s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Difficulty index for once-over

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for once

6
8
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