The dictionary describes "one-off" as:

done, made, or happening only once and not repeated.

I am using this word in the the following context:

Two types of solutions are gathered to improve the website:

  • One-off improvements that can be implemented while developing a new version of the website.
  • Content guidelines that help users to write higher quality content. These guidelines make it possible to raise the quality standard in the long term.

I am not a native speaker, but "one-off" looks a bit.. off to me in this context. Am I wrong and is this correct, or should I replace it with a different word?

  • From my experience one-off is fine, even in formal contexts. Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 14:48
  • 'one-off' is a Britishism, in that it was not easily recognized in the US until recently.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 15:32
  • Not a duplicate but see english.stackexchange.com/questions/165048/…
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 15:35
  • A number followed by 'off' was at one time a convention in British industry when writing a requisition or order for parts or components from a factory store room or outside supplier. Please supply 3 off 2 ft mild steel rods. A one-off was a single item. Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 15:51
  • one-off performed a single time or unique. Here, one-time, in colloquial AmE.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 17:23

2 Answers 2


Merriam-Webster says this of one-off:

Popularity: Top 30% of words

1 : limited to a single time, occasion, or instance : one-shot · one-off gigs · a one-off payment

2 : singular, unique · a one-off design

I see no reason why your use of one-off would be considered inappropriate.


I'm not sure where you got the seconds description but it does not apply to the term.

I believe the term may refer to manufacturing where many things are made,as on an assembly line. They are expected to be identical. If, intentionally or otherwise one item is different in a good or bad way it is 'off', that is, different. Anywhere that an example of a thing is not as expected it can be excused or recommended as a 'one-off', not expected to be repeated.

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