count·​down | \ ˈkau̇nt-ˌdau̇n \

Definition of countdown

: an audible backward counting in fixed units (such as seconds) from an arbitrary starting number to mark the time remaining before an event also : preparations carried on during such a count

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Other Words from countdown

count down \ ˈkau̇nt-​ˈdau̇n \ intransitive verb

Examples of countdown in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

To say the countdown is on is a serious understatement. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Brace Yourselves: The Entire Country Will be Hit by a Brutal Winter Storm This Week," 12 Feb. 2019 After Turner and Jonas announced their engagement back in October 2017, the countdown is now on for their upcoming wedding, set to take place this year. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas Were Absolutely the Cutest at the Grammys After Party," 11 Feb. 2019 The countdown to Oscar night is on and today's nominations mark a point of no return for awards season, as Netflix lands its first-ever Best Picture nomination (Roma). Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Where to Watch the 2019 Oscar Nominees Online," 22 Jan. 2019 The Times Square Ball will be lit and raised at 6pm EST, shining over #TimesSquare throughout the night before the final countdown to 2019. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Here's All The Info You Need To Watch The New Year's Eve Ball Drop From Home," 31 Dec. 2018 After 22 long years with Barça, Iniesta announced his intention to leave the club last month and the last four weeks had been a countdown to Sunday's final farewell., "Andres Iniesta Delivers Emotional Final Speech at Camp Nou as He Bids Farewell to Barcelona," 21 May 2018 About 30 seconds into the clip, Ali gives himself a countdown and swings the sword. Marlisse Cepeda, Woman's Day, "Man Tries to Slice a Watermelon with a Sword, Fails Miserably," 30 June 2015 Next on the countdown is a trio of stories about far-right conspiracy-theorist Alex Jones. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Talk amongst yourselves: 2018’s most-commented stories on Ars," 24 Dec. 2018 Needless to say the countdown is on for the newest royal baby. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Prince Harry Already Has an Adorable Nickname for the Royal Baby," 29 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'countdown.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of countdown

circa 1952, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near countdown



count calories





Statistics for countdown

Last Updated

18 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for countdown

The first known use of countdown was circa 1952

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More Definitions for countdown



English Language Learners Definition of countdown

: the act of counting down the number of seconds that remain before something (such as the launch of a rocket) happens
: the period of time before an important or special event


count·​down | \ ˈkau̇nt-ˌdau̇n \

Kids Definition of countdown

: the process of subtracting the time remaining before an event (as the launching of a rocket)

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More from Merriam-Webster on countdown

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with countdown

Spanish Central: Translation of countdown

Nglish: Translation of countdown for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of countdown for Arabic Speakers

Comments on countdown

What made you want to look up countdown? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


excited commotion or publicity

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