kick·​off | \ ˈkik-ˌȯf How to pronounce kickoff (audio) \

Definition of kickoff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a kick that puts the ball into play in a football or soccer game the opening kickoff
2 : the start of something : commencement the campaign kickoff

kick off

kicked off; kicking off; kicks off

Definition of kick off (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to start or resume play in football by a placekick
2a : to initiate proceedings
b : to start out : begin the movie kicks off with a bank robbery
3 slang : die

transitive verb

: to mark the beginning of kick off the campaign

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Examples of kickoff in a Sentence

Noun At his campaign kickoff, the senator gave a passionate speech about combating poverty. His speech marked the kickoff of his campaign. Verb I'll kick off the discussion on ethics with this question. surprisingly, the recluse was worth a cool million when he kicked off
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Leopards did return two kickoffs for touchdowns. Ben Thomas |, al, "Mobile HS Football: 5 Games to Watch in Coastal Alabama in Week 5," 16 Sep. 2019 James Tarver rushed for 206 yards and four TDs, Angel Arce was 16-for-28 for 198 yards and two TDs and Kam Moreno had eight catches for 101 yards and a TD and returned a kickoff 90 yards for a score for the Spartans. Staff Reports,, "HS football: Simsbury edges Hall 9-3 in OT; Enfield tops East Hartford 42-41," 14 Sep. 2019 Corbin also returned kicks for the Aggies, and following the Cardinals’ score in the third quarter A&M true freshman Ainias Smith returned a kickoff 16 yards, in his bid to join Roshauud Paul in replacing Corbin. Brent Zwerneman,, "Texas A&M crushes Lamar 62-3 in final tune-up before SEC play," 14 Sep. 2019 Cardinal Gibbons’ Donnell Bennett returned the ensuing kickoff 30 yards to set up Davis’ first TD of the game from 8 yards out. Gary Curreri,, "Gibbons gets rolling in second half of intracity matchup with Flying L’s," 14 Sep. 2019 But right after Hall’s second TD, Christian Washington returned the ensuing kickoff 93 yards, and Helix went up 31-21 on Noa’s first TD. San Diego Union-Tribune, "No. 3 Highlanders stun top-ranked Dons," 13 Sep. 2019 And Julian Barnett got a chance to return kickoffs late in the game. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football may have found a big-play weapon in Elijah Collins," 8 Sep. 2019 Amador Valley’s Eric Hunter III returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown to close to 17-7, but Harper completed a 50-yard screen to Windatt, who later powered it home from 2 yards out. Mitch Stephens,, "Roundup: Riordan overpowers Tamalpais," 7 Sep. 2019 But McFadden suffered an ankle injury while returning a kickoff shortly before halftime of Stevenson’s 28-21 home loss to Neuqua Valley on Friday. Steve Reaven,, "Jordan Vincent helping Stevenson stay positive after loss to Neuqua Valley," 7 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Kith Women x Barbie collaboration kicks off with a Barbie takeover of Kith’s flagship store in New York. James Love, Essence, "KITH WOMEN Teams Up With Barbie For Capsule Collection," 17 Sep. 2019 With The Wondertwins’ Black, the Autorino Center kicks off its new Faculty Fellows program, an educational endeavor that augments the performances that occur onstage with online content curated by University of Saint Joseph faculty., "Community News For The West Hartford Edition," 16 Sep. 2019 The challenge kicks off with a symposium held on November 13-15 in Youngstown, Ohio for NFL officals and entrees, where they will be provided with information on current helmet technology and NFL concussion research data. Ben Morse, CNN, "Concussion: NFL launches $3M helmet challenge," 13 Sep. 2019 Skip to main content USA TODAY Week 2 of the NFL season kicks off this weekend, and the biggest matchup may be the rematch of last year’s NFC Championship Game. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "NFL Week 2 schedule: TV network info, announcers and odds," 12 Sep. 2019 In addition to its No. 1 entrance on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, Tecca likewise kicks off atop the Top Rap Albums chart and at No. 4 on the all-genre Billboard 200. Trevor Anderson, Billboard, "Lil Tecca's 'Love' Conquers All On Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart," 12 Sep. 2019 Sponsored by Harley-Davidson, the tour kicks off in June with eight European dates before moving to the U.S. in July. Ross Raihala, Twin Cities, "Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer set to headline Target Field in August," 10 Sep. 2019 The Stand Up for Heroes event kicks off New York Comedy Festival, the country’s largest comedy festival, which runs from Nov. 4-10. Washington Post, "Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart headline veterans’ fundraiser," 9 Sep. 2019 The fun kicks off with a 7 p.m. Sept. 13 parade, featuring the Fort McHenry Guard, living historians and National Park Service rangers, from the foot of Hull Street in Locust Point to the fort. Baltimore Sun Staff,, "Things to do in Baltimore this week: Defenders’ Day, Pratt Library reopening, Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention and more," 8 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kickoff.' 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 kickoff


1856, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1857, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

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Statistics for kickoff

Last Updated

27 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for kickoff

The first known use of kickoff was in 1856

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More Definitions for kickoff


How to pronounce kick off (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of kickoff

: a kick that starts play in a game (such as American football or soccer)
: the start of something


kick·​off | \ ˈkik-ˌȯf How to pronounce kickoff (audio) \

Kids Definition of kickoff

: a kick that puts the ball into play (as in football or soccer)

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More from Merriam-Webster on kickoff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for kickoff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kickoff

Spanish Central: Translation of kickoff

Nglish: Translation of kickoff for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of kickoff for Arabic Speakers

Comments on kickoff

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to spread as a report or rumor

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