once in a lifetime

Idioms & Phrases

once in a lifetime

Extremely rare, especially as an opportunity. For example, An offer like that will come just once in a lifetime. This phrase, often used hyperbolically, was first recorded in 1854. Also see of one's life.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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