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


At his campaign kickoff, the senator gave a passionate speech about combating poverty. His speech marked the kickoff of his campaign.


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 Wildcats have played football for 108 years and Malik Knowles’s kickoff return for a touchdown was just the third ever in school history by a Wildcat player on the road. Scooby Axson,, "Week 4 College Football Power Rankings: Clemson Further Proves ACC Dominance," 16 Sep. 2019 Inside linebacker Jaylen Moody Moody posted an early tackle on a kickoff return. Matt Zenitz |, al, "Alabama coaching staff selects 10 players of the week," 16 Sep. 2019 Division 5 Mason Andrade, Watertown — The sophomore opened the season with an 89-yard kickoff return and added two 32-yard rushing touchdowns to pace the Raiders in a 43-6 win over Arlington Catholic., "Ayden Pereira, Central Catholic," 16 Sep. 2019 Scarver has three kickoff returns for a touchdown in his career, two of them coming last season in games against New Mexico State (100 yards) and Wyoming (99 yards). San Diego Union-Tribune, "Scouting Report: Utah State at Aztecs," 16 Sep. 2019 Cyrus Jones returned a punt for 25 yards and Justice Hill also had a 26-yard kickoff return. Mike Preston,, "Mike Preston’s report card: Position-by-position grades for Ravens’ 23-17 win over Cardinals," 15 Sep. 2019 Speaking of statistics After three weeks, Oregon State ranks among the FBS top 25 in kickoff returns (No. oregonlive, "More wins coming for Oregon State football in 2019? Ten takeaways from Saturday’s 45-7 pounding of Cal Poly," 15 Sep. 2019 Cy Woods took a 14-7 lead on JaVarian Stewart's 93-yard kickoff return. Alvaro Montano, Houston Chronicle, "Michael Fernandez's field goal lifts Cy Woods over Tomball Memorial," 14 Sep. 2019 Central Catholic’s lone highlight came on Nathan Bledsoe’s 93-yard kickoff return for a TD., "Benedictine overwhelms Cleveland Central Catholic 72-8 in high school football," 14 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And another note: Fortune’s Most Powerful Women International Summit in Toronto kicks off today. Fortune, "New Reporting Supports Kavanaugh Allegation: The Broadsheet," 16 Sep. 2019 That did not happen, but the Mirror believe that the confirmation will still come in the coming hours, and certainly before United kick off their Europa League campaign against Astana on Thursday., "David de Gea 'Signs New Man Utd Contract' With Official Announcement 'Close'," 15 Sep. 2019 Before Week 2 kicks off, they are faced with the prospect of starting four players who entered the NFL as undrafted rookies. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, "Chargers face Lions embracing the pressure of defending their NFL road warrior title," 14 Sep. 2019 FESTIVALS Stingray Qello to stream all three days of the festival KAABOO's fifth annual festival in Del Mar, California has officially sold out of passes one day before the event kicks off this afternoon (Sept 13). Dave Brooks, Billboard, "KAABOO Officially Sells Out of Passes Day Before Annual Festival Kicks Off in SoCal," 13 Sep. 2019 After a season in which the Coyotes experienced an unholy number of significant injuries, kicking off training camp with a nonspecific knee injury feels like a black cat crossing center ice at Gila River Arena. Richard Morin, azcentral, "Oliver Ekman-Larsson's cryptic injury is latest in string of bad luck for Coyotes," 12 Sep. 2019 At the end of the day when that ball gets kicked off and the scoreboard starts ticking down, all of that stuff doesn't mean anything. Robert Rimpson, The Courier-Journal, "Here's how Eastern Kentucky football plans to upset the Louisville Cardinals," 6 Sep. 2019 Under Mario Cristobal, the Oregon Ducks coaching staff has secured the bulk of its recruiting class before each season kicks off, collecting 19 pledges for roughly 25 spots. Andrew Nemec | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "D.J. Rogers, nation’s No. 7 tight end, has Oregon Ducks in top 10," 5 Sep. 2019 But before the event kicks off, reporter Hannah Drown was in the historical plane Thursday and broadcasted live video on’s Facebook page from the sky. Hannah Drown,, "Experience flight on B-17 World War II bomber by watching Hannah Drown’s Facebook Live video," 5 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

13 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for kickoff

The first known use of kickoff was in 1856

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More Definitions for kickoff



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kickoff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for kickoff

Spanish Central: Translation of kickoff

Nglish: Translation of kickoff for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of kickoff for Arabic Speakers

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