count·​down ˈkau̇nt-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce countdown (audio)
: 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
count down intransitive verb

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Tree lighting live musical performances by local children, countdown and lighting of the tree, hot chocolate and cookies, and a visit from Santa. Elaine Rewolinski, Journal Sentinel, 19 Nov. 2022 With Bernie Taupin as his go-to lyricist, he's written and recorded any number of the greatest records in the history of rock 'n' roll, which brings us to this unabashedly subjective countdown of his greatest hits. Ed Masley, The Arizona Republic, 11 Nov. 2022 The Crew 5 Falcon 9 rocket was rolled to the top of pad 39A and rotated vertical Saturday, setting the stage for a dress-rehearsal countdown and engine test firing Sunday followed by blastoff Wednesday on a flight to the International Space Station. William Harwood, CBS News, 1 Oct. 2022 Here’s how to watch or livestream the 2021 New Year’s Eve countdown and ball drop for free. Chris Morris, Fortune, 31 Dec. 2021 Cruise includes party favors, DJ, countdown to noon and lunch buffet. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, 27 Dec. 2021 During Monday's liftoff attempt, a liquid hydrogen line used to cool the rocket’s core-stage engines malfunctioned partway through the launch countdown. Denise Chow, NBC News, 31 Aug. 2022 Monday's test included loading all four rocket tanks with supercold propellant, going through a full countdown and draining the rocket tanks. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 24 June 2022 Looking up the advice for specific plants gets confusing quickly, and the countdown to winter adds to the panic. Susan Brownstein, cleveland, 26 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1952, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of countdown was circa 1952

Dictionary Entries Near countdown

Cite this Entry

“Countdown.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



count·​down ˈkau̇nt-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce countdown (audio)
: the process of counting off backward in fixed units (as seconds) the time remaining before an event (as the launching of a rocket)
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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