I read a sentence in a chapter(The ghat of the only World) which was:

His voice was like none I had ever heard before, at once lyrical and fiercely disciplined, engaged and yet deeply inward.

"At once" as an adverb means "immediately". So, which context has it been used here in?


at once (phrase):

  1. immediately
    Bake for 35 minutes and then serve at once.

  2. at the same time
    Kolya, a movie from the Czech Republic, is at once extremely funny and sad.

Your example relates to the second definition, which says that, at the same time, his voice was both "lyrical" and "fiercely disciplined". The writer uses "at once" to emphasize that this is an unusual or unexpected combination.


At once has another meaning. Please check the examples below.

Meaning - at the same time
two people talking at once
The book is at once [=both] funny and sad.
She had several projects going on all at once.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy