kick·off | \ˈkik-ˌȯf \

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


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

Both games will be broadcast by an ESPN property, with kickoff time and platform likely to be announced within two weeks of the game. Kirk Kenney,, "KGB SkyShow will follow Aztecs' home opener vs. Sacramento State," 11 June 2018 The kickoff times and TV broadcast information for Missouri’s first three football games of the 2018 season are set. Aaron Reiss, kansascity, "Here are the kickoff times, TV channels for Mizzou's first three football games," 31 May 2018 Most other kickoff times and networks will be determined roughly two weeks before each game. Christopher Dabe,, "First 3 LSU football games have kickoff times, TV networks," 31 May 2018 On Thursday, the university announced a few more kickoff times for 2018 games, including an 8:15 p.m. start at Albertsons Stadium against the Huskies in the Broncos' first home game. Dave Southorn, idahostatesman, "Kickoff times set for Boise St. football opener, first home game and Oklahoma St.," 31 May 2018 Two other Friday night Louisville games – at home against Georgia Tech on Oct. 5 and at Syracuse on Nov. 9 – have also been set for 7 p.m. kickoff times. Gentry Estes, The Courier-Journal, "First three games of Louisville football's 2018 season to be at night," 18 May 2018 The dates and kickoff times of the 65-game NFL preseason schedule were announced Friday, beginning with the annual NFL/Hall of Fame Game between the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens in Canton, Ohio, on Thursday night, Aug. 2. Kent Somers, azcentral, "NFL preseason schedule dates, times released: Arizona Cardinals open Aug. 11 vs. Chargers," 11 May 2018 If FC Cincinnati can enter the match bossing the possession and tempo from kickoff, the visitors should dictate play and earn another road win. Charlie Hatch,, "Toronto FC II vs. FC Cincinnati scouting report," 26 June 2018 The Eagles of Carthage were determined not to call time on their World Cup, winning a free kick almost straight from the kickoff., "Belgium 5-2 Tunisia: Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard Run Riot as Red Devils Qualify for Round of 16," 23 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Owens’ public event is free and kicks off Aug. 4 at 12:17 p.m. PDT — well before the event in Canton, which starts at 4. Noel Harris, sacbee, "Terrell Owens won’t be in Canton. The Pro Football Hall of Fame isn’t taking it lightly," 12 July 2018 The three-member alternative rock band will be celebrating its 30th anniversary on Sept. 16, 2019, and the new album will kick off the milestone year. Billboard Japan, Billboard, "Japanese Rockers the pillows Kick Off U.S. Tour in Lead-up to New Album," 12 July 2018 The Safeway Open in Napa, California, is Oct. 4-7 and kicks off a seven-week, eight-tournament fall stretch before the Tour takes a break in late November. Steve Dimeglio, USA TODAY, "PGA Tour shuffles schedule to finish Playoffs before football season," 10 July 2018 His years at Cleanr coincided with the development of his addiction, kicked off while treating a brain injury from a skiing accident. John Williams, New York Times, "Can Handiwork Save Your Soul? A Quiet Novel Suggests It Can," 10 July 2018 The storm might have put a damper on some celebrations, but Tavares’ Fourth of July parade kicked off a couple hours later as scheduled along Main Street. Jerry Fallstrom,, "'Nasty' storm knocks hole in roof of Tavares restaurant, sending 80 patrons fleeing for cover," 4 July 2018 The all-levels yoga class is free with registration and kicks off at 7 p.m. Grace Dickinson,, "6 cool ways to get out of the heat this summer in Philadelphia," 3 July 2018 There, several hundred protesters — many carrying signs in the sweltering heat — quietly marched from the Village Hall to a park overlooking Lake Michigan, kicking off a series of rallies planned in cities across the state. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Immigrant-rights marchers rally in Wisconsin and the nation," 30 June 2018 And that’s only the beginning: Epic Games, Fortnite's developer, is committing $100 million in purse for the first year of competitive play kicking off later this fall. Phuc Pham, WIRED, "When Fornite's Biggest Stars Congregated Under the LA Sun," 17 June 2018

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 2018

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 \

Kids Definition of kickoff

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

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Comments on kickoff

What made you want to look up kickoff? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


lying above or upon

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