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Occurring once, one-time, independent of any pattern.


  • Probably from foundry work, for which making reusable molds is expensive and expediency the rule for molds not to be used only once.
  • A term long used by artists who are printmakers and sculptors to indicate a unique print or casting. If using traditional edition numbering, a one-off would be a "1/1", which is said, "one of one" meaning the first print in an edition of one.

The government insisted that the embarrassing loss of the tax records was a one-off event.

Submitted on July 10, 2018

Additional definitions for 'one-off':

one-offOccurring once; one-time.
one-offSingular; unique; special; remarkable.
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