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 count down (audio) \ intransitive verb

Examples of countdown in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And during their second (successful) launch attempt on May 31, the countdown clock hit zero just as another batch of storm clouds cleared the sky. Jackie Wattles, CNN, "SpaceX set to bring NASA astronauts home from historic mission (weather permitting)," 31 July 2020 Perhaps if not for the pandemic Cristobal might’ve been one to three spots behind players in our countdown. oregonlive, "Oregon MVP 10: Mario Cristobal is No. 1," 31 July 2020 Take a look at the full video above to learn a little more about Story as the countdown to the 2020 season continues. Michael Casagrande |, al, "Meet Kristian Story, Alabama’s versatile Mr. Football," 9 July 2020 In the second of a countdown series to Friday, the Wings end up with the third pick. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "What Detroit Red Wings could do with third overall pick: NHL draft lottery countdown," 23 June 2020 And so on Saturday afternoon, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket had blue skies above it during the final minutes of a countdown to launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "“The trampoline is working”—SpaceX returns human spaceflight to America," 30 May 2020 The Glow changes color based on voice commands and has a rainbow countdown timer that can help little ones stick to routines like reading and art time. Popular Science, "The best modern desk lamps for your home office," 3 July 2020 During this standard prelaunch test, an Atlas V rocket is fueled with propellant and a countdown is conducted until the final moments before ignition. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA’s next Mars mission has now burned nearly half of its launch window," 30 June 2020 Friday, the screens will display a countdown of the minutes a Minneapolis cop knelt on the throat of George Floyd until his breath was gone, in response to the national outcry for racial justice in America. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Juneteenth feels different this year for autoworker," 19 June 2020

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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Statistics for countdown

Last Updated

6 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Countdown.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for countdown


How to pronounce countdown (audio)

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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