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 Post Malone concert serves as the series' kickoff, and more details about the celebration will be revealed at the end of the rapper's show. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "Post Malone Set to Headline Virtual Concert on Pokémon Day: Exclusive," 11 Feb. 2021 There were still two hours until kickoff and another three or four hours of American football and halftime spectacle. Sam Whiting, San Francisco Chronicle, "Super Bowl sports bar party people do their best to keep the spirit going outside in small groups," 7 Feb. 2021 Her performance, which was announced via Good Morning America early on Wednesday, will preface kickoff on February 7. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman Is Headed for the Super Bowl," 27 Jan. 2021 Being primarily recruited by special teams coordinator Mark Tommerdahl, expect Tharp to see action on both the punt and kickoff teams early on in his career. Dallas News, "Meet the early enrollees for Texas Tech football this spring, including the potential quarterback of the future," 20 Jan. 2021 The museum said the designation is kickoff to a year of commemorative activities tied to the album of the same name, which was released four months after the single as Gaye embraced ambitious new sounds and a socially conscious direction. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan designates Wednesday as 'What's Going On' Day as Marvin Gaye single marks 50 years," 19 Jan. 2021 Hoyt Deau Hutchinson of Tuscaloosa admitted slashing the balloon shortly after kickoff of the game. William Thornton |, al, "‘Baby Trump’ balloon acquired by British museum," 18 Jan. 2021 So, without a Hail Mary pass that ends the blackout prior to Saturday’s kickoff, what options do GCI subscribers have? Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "TV blackout will keep Packers-Rams game off GCI as contract dispute with local owners continues," 15 Jan. 2021 In allowing a limited number of fans to attend the game, state health officials required everyone — including stadium officials and media — entering the stadium to show proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of kickoff. John Wawrow, ajc, "Lucky few Bills fans eager to cheer on team from stands," 9 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Buccaneers and Packers are scheduled to kick off at 2:05 a.m. CST Sunday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Gravediggers out to bury Aaron Rodgers, Packers in NFC title game," 23 Jan. 2021 The Cowboys and Giants are scheduled to kick off at noon CT. Michael Gehlken, Dallas News, "Cowboys use wintery weather in Frisco to simulate expected conditions at Giants’ Metlife Stadium," 31 Dec. 2020 The Texas Bowl was originally scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. at NRG Stadium in Houston. Scottie Bordelon, Arkansas Online, "Razorbacks' bowl game called off," 29 Dec. 2020 The Steelers' Week 4 game against the Tennessee Titans, originally scheduled to kick off Sunday, has been moved to Week 7. Jonas Shaffer,, "Ravens' Week 7 game vs. Steelers rescheduled for Week 8 after Titans' COVID-19 outbreak," 2 Oct. 2020 The Spartans are scheduled to kick off the 2021 season Sept. 4 at Northwestern. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Former Michigan State football FB/TE Max Rosenthal transfers to Illinois," 13 Jan. 2021 There are concerns related to Ohio State’s player availability for the game, according to sources, setting up a massive decision less than a week from when the game is scheduled to kick off in Miami. John Talty |, al, "COVID-19 concerns threaten to disrupt national title game," 5 Jan. 2021 In Spain, where more than 16,000 people died in nursing homes in the first three months of the pandemic, the inoculation campaign was also slated to kick off in a nursing home in the city of Guadalajara. New York Times, "E.U.’s Mass Vaccination Campaign Starts, With Nursing Homes as Focus," 27 Dec. 2020 The UConn basketball season is expected to kick off on Nov. 25, and despite coronavirus making things less-than-typical, there is still confidence that there will be some sort of season for the Huskies., "Courant sports reporters to answer your questions about the upcoming UConn basketball season during live Q&A. Leave your questions here," 29 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for kickoff

Time Traveler

The first known use of kickoff was in 1856

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Statistics for kickoff

Last Updated

19 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Kickoff.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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