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

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from countdown

count down \ˈkau̇nt-ˈdau̇n \ intransitive verb

Examples of countdown in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

There's barely a second to breathe in between the Halo jumping, the motorcycle crashing, the helicopter ramming, and, in the tedious countdown-clock climax, the frenetic frame-toggling between widescreen 2.39 and IMAX 1.90 aspect ratios. Omar Sanchez, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Mission: Impossible — Fallout': What the Critics Are Saying," 12 July 2018 Once your pharmacist hands NuvaRing over to you, your four-month room-temperature countdown begins. Korin Miller, SELF, "Do You Actually Need to Keep Your Vaginal Ring in the Fridge?," 3 July 2018 The network continued its weekly countdown Monday (May 28) with players listed from Nos. Christopher Dabe,, "Saints' Mark Ingram joins NFL Network list of top 100 players for 2018," 28 May 2018 With 21 days left to Russia 2018, 90 Minutes continues its countdown with Denmark, looking to emulate the heroics of the Euro 1992 title-winning squad with an in-form Christian Eriksen. Steve Douglas,, "World Cup Countdown: Eriksen leads Denmark team looking to replicate 1992 heroics," 24 May 2018 Yesterday at Kennedy Space Center, with 58 seconds left on the countdown clock, an automatic abort halted the maiden flight of SpaceX's Block 5 rocket, the newest and most powerful version of the Falcon 9. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Block 5 Lifts Off—SpaceX's Newest Rocket (Updated)," 11 May 2018 Here's our countdown of the top 10 must-see new models that debuted at the show: (Photo: Bruce Benedict) 10. Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY, "Top 10 must-see cars from New York Auto Show," 1 Apr. 2018 Chalk it up to the constantly dropping deals, countdown clocks, and limited stock. Madeline Buxton,, "5 Survival Tips You Need To Know Before Shopping On Amazon Prime Day," 13 July 2018 The countdown is under 50 days now The OHSAA Thursday put out the 50-day alert for Friday Night Lights. Scott Springer,, "Springer: Let the Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky high school football hype begin," 6 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of countdown

circa 1952, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about countdown

Dictionary Entries near countdown



count calories





Statistics for countdown

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for countdown

The first known use of countdown was circa 1952

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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)

Keep scrolling for more

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).


alleviating pain or harshness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!