count·​down | \ ˈkau̇nt-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce countdown (audio) \

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 How to pronounce countdown (audio) \ intransitive verb

Examples of countdown in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Last week, the countdown to Friday was for a speech by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. Jj Kinahan, Forbes, 2 Sep. 2021 The countdown is on for America's Got Talent's live shows. Natalie Stone,, 5 Aug. 2021 The countdown to The Killers new album is well and truly on. Lars Brandle, Billboard, 4 Aug. 2021 The countdown is on for the start of the 2021-2022 school year! Samantha Davenport, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Aug. 2021 The countdown is on for Aug. 20 and Week 1 of the season. Matt Goul, cleveland, 21 July 2021 Cybercriminals have been known to threaten to increase their demand if the ransom isn’t paid promptly, even deploying a countdown clock. Kate Santich,, 23 July 2021 To help readers warm up for the XXXII Olympiad, which was delayed by a year due to the pandemic, The Times has launched a dedicated landing page featuring a rolling preview of the Summer Games, complete with a countdown clock. Los Angeles Times, 16 July 2021 Brisk discussion is encouraged (a menu-size tabletop screen features a countdown clock), so the whole room buzzes like a restaurant. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 1 July 2021

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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Time Traveler for countdown

Time Traveler

The first known use of countdown was circa 1952

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Dictionary Entries Near countdown

count calories



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Last Updated

12 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Countdown.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce countdown (audio) \

Kids Definition of countdown

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


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