Please help me with the exact meaning of the phrase "any one time" in the text below.

You don't think he'd had a good look at me any one time and thought the original was even worse than that poor picture, so he backed off?

"Casting away" by Alice Munro

I searched other forums and found out it means "at any given moment" but I think it's not true for this particular context, I think it means "even for once". Am I right?

Thanks in advance.

Edit: I changed the title and content by dropping at because according to snailplane's suggestion, at is not connected with any one time in this context.

  • 3
    It's [good look at me] and [any one time]. There's no at in the latter phrase.
    – user230
    Mar 5, 2014 at 12:49
  • @snailplane Ah thanks, When I searched for "any one time" I only got results for "at any one time" Then I thought may be this is just a twisted version of that.
    – user3214
    Mar 5, 2014 at 14:32
  • @snailplane Please pardon me for bothering you again. Please tell me. Do you agree with Maulik? Do you have any idea what does it exactly mean?
    – user3214
    Mar 5, 2014 at 18:27

1 Answer 1


You are right, in this context, at any given moment does not fit. Since the sentence is clear that he never had a good look at her, at [her] any one time means in any given circumstances.

at any one time - under any circumstances.

  • Thank you Maulik :) I don't know why I didn't find this definition before but I am surprised to see it's used for describing "once" while it could also mean "even for once". I think they are completely opposite of each other.
    – user3214
    Mar 5, 2014 at 11:04
  • 1
    @GATA The author probably means he, under any circumstances, gave no good look to her.
    – Maulik V
    Mar 5, 2014 at 11:08

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