one-off: (n.) something done, made, or happening only once, not as part of a regular sequence; "the meeting is a one-off"

I've been using the phrase 一次性 to mean "one-off" (or "once-off"), which my iTalki teacher indicated didn't have this meaning, but I still don't know what the correct expression is. E.g., I might say...

the meeting is a one-off

YouDao gives 一次性 and 绝无仅有, neither of which seem appropriate.

Question: How can I express the concept of a "one-off"?

  • Depending on the context, it might be better to simply use the negative definition (that is, a one-off meeting is non-recurring), so just say 会议是不重复/非周期性的(or 非定期/临时, if appropriate)
    – EEQ
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 1:09
  • I feel that 一次过 is what you want. Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 1:54
  • Are you sure you want a self-contained sentence "This meeting is a one-off.", as opposed to using the expression inside a longer sentence, such as "During tomorrow's one-off 2pm meeting, we will discuss the budget for our project."?
    – Stef
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 15:16

5 Answers 5


The term "one-off" is a common term in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. It's also commonly used in the US or Canada, though to a lesser extent.

There are mainly 3 types of "one-off"s in English.

  1. 一次性 (Formal, sometimes governmental) activities done, made, or happening only once. When it ends it will not be done / be created / happen again.

one-off donation 一次性捐款 / one-off grant 一次性拨款 / one-off deduction 一次性扣除

Chile made a one-off cash bonus payment to the poorest 40 per cent.


Government introduces one-off resident visa for 160,000 migrants


In some Chinese-speaking communities where 性 is used exclusively for sex-related terms in local Chinese varieties, it's translated differently. In Hong Kong: 一次過.

  1. No corresponding term in Chinese. Events / things done, made, or happening only once. Not counted as part of a regular sequence.

The concept of emergency as a one-off, unpredicted crisis also needs to be reconsidered.


(Technically speaking, "偶发" is not the equivalence of "one-off". )

The meeting is a one-off. 这个会议是临时的。

(Technically speaking, one-off meeting ≠ ad hoc meeting 临时(特设)的会议. )

  1. 只/仅此一* (* = a measure word,e.g. 只此一次、只此一家、只此一件) Something that is unique and oftentimes valuable. If you miss it you'll never see / use / experience it again. You will regret it.

one-off design


New Ferrari SP51 unveiled as a one-off commission

法拉利新车SP51正式亮相,全球仅此一辆 / 仅此一台

Blur Reuniting For A ONE-OFF Show At Wembley Stadium



There are mainly 3 types of "一次性"s in Chinese.

  1. Disposable

一次性手套 disposable gloves

  1. One-off

一次性捐款 one-off donation

  1. In one go

一次性通过所有考试 pass all exams in one go

  • 1
    Unless it is because it is used all the time in the UK/Australia/NZ and I just don't realize it, I would not say that "one-off" is not that common in Canada. I would agree that "one-time" is more commonly used than "one-off" and that "one-off" has a more casual tone to it than "one-time" does in Canada, but "one-off" does not seem that rare or foreign to me. Anyway, +1 for the nice explanation. Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 17:02
  • 1
    Thanks. I've updated my answer.
    – user
    Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 5:27

one-off = one time only = 只此一次

the meeting is a one-off


Note 1:

一次性 = disposable

绝无仅有 = the one and only

Note 2:

one-off is an adjective

one-off event is a noun

Saying one-off is a noun is like saying disposable is a noun


This meeting is a one-off (event)

They call us the old folks the disposable(people)


the meeting is a one-off


If this sentence only, I reckon it's correct. It may be inaccurate in some context: e.g. if this sentence is in a dialog to distinguish it from "Regular meeting" 例会,you can say "这是个临时会议" or similar to express.


According to my dictionary, "one-off" is an adjective that means " 一次性的", as in "a one-off payment". It can be used as a noun, that means "一次性事物", such as "the meeting is a one-off".

one-off (UK) one-shot (US)


  • something done, made, or happening only once and not repeated - "one-off tax deductible donations to charity" synonyms:


  • something done, made, or happening only once, not as part of a regular sequence - "the meeting is a one-off"

Apparently, one-off, sounding suspiciously like 'one of', referred originally to a prototype of a manufactured product. The phrase was only later used figuratively.

one-off: 一次性

Vespa builds a one-off, four seater ‘Stretch Scooter’.

(God, I remember driving that Vespa the first time! My brother said, "Careful, the clutch is a bit fierce on these." Next second I was in the hedge!)

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