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Probably from foundry work, for which making reusable molds is expensive and expediency the rule for molds not to be reused.
- Occurring once; one-time.
- The government insisted that the embarrassing loss of the tax records was a one-off event.
1905, Foundry, volume 50, page 198:
- If such a casting was wanted in a hurry — a one-off job — there would be no question of molding it on a machine.
2006 Sep 1, EIU Country Analysis, Malta: Country outlook:
- Moreover, given that recent measures to cut the deficit have been more one-off than of a structural fiscal nature, meeting this debt target is likely only
occurring once; one-time
- (idiomatic) Something that is done, created, etc. only once, and often quickly, simply, or improvisationally.
- I'll put together a quick one-off as a sample so we can taste the recipe.
something that is done only once