1 of 2


kick·​off ˈkik-ˌȯf How to pronounce kickoff (audio)
: a kick that puts the ball into play in a football or soccer game
the opening kickoff
: the start of something : commencement
the campaign kickoff

kick off

2 of 2


kicked off; kicking off; kicks off

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

: to mark the beginning of
kick off the campaign

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
Recent Examples on the Web
This kickoff chapter follows a young American woman named Margaret (Nell Tiger Free), who uncovers plans about the Antichrist’s birth while working at a church in Rome. William Earl, Variety, 4 Apr. 2024 The 6,500-capacity arena, which was built for $45 million and opened in 2006, hosted plenty of big acts over the years, including tour kickoffs for Tom Petty and The Killers, as well as massive EDM and jam-band stands. John Wenzel, The Denver Post, 2 Apr. 2024 So his take on the NFL’s new kickoff and hip-drop tackle rules, or Chiefs newcomer Louis Rees-Zammit, will wait for another day. Blair Kerkhoff, Kansas City Star, 28 Mar. 2024 Owners voted to radically change kickoffs to reduce injuries and make the play more exciting. Suzanne Nuyen, NPR, 28 Mar. 2024 The receiving team must be informed of the attempt in advance, and regular old kickoff formations would be used. Greg Cote, Miami Herald, 27 Mar. 2024 The Lady Owls will face Decatur at Trophy Club Byron Nelson High School on Tuesday with a kickoff time of 7 p.m. CT. Charles Baggarly, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 26 Mar. 2024 These hybrid kickoffs are new to the NFL but not new to football. Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, 26 Mar. 2024 After a rule change in 2011 that reduced the distance from the kickoff to the opposing end zone, the league reported that the number of concussions on kickoffs was reduced by 40%. Becky Sullivan, NPR, 27 Mar. 2024
With the 2024 MotoGP racing season upon us, the MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas kicks off in Texas this weekend following races in Qatar and Portugal last month. Rudie Obias, Variety, 12 Apr. 2024 And while the animation has upgraded to 3D and the episodes are shorter, the actor who voiced Dora for the first time 24 years ago says that the new season —kicking off Friday on Paramount+ — will be as friendly and exciting as always. Arturo Conde, NBC News, 11 Apr. 2024 The company was tasked with completing the work by early September, just before the Cardinals kicked off their season. Shawn Raymundo, The Arizona Republic, 11 Apr. 2024 The Democratic governor’s determination may hand lawmakers in both parties an election year victory, or kick off a new round of conflict over taxes with no clear resolution. Jonathan Shorman, Kansas City Star, 10 Apr. 2024 Rodrigo kicked off her run of shows in Palm Springs in February with Chappell Roan opening for her on the road. Tomás Mier, Rolling Stone, 10 Apr. 2024 The Detroit History Podcast kicks off its sixth season with a telling of his life and impact on popular culture. Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press, 9 Apr. 2024 The incident came just days after Wallen kicked off his 2024 One Night at a Time tour. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, 9 Apr. 2024 Produced by Live Nation, the 25-city tour kicks off in Boston, making stops across the U.S. in New York, Atlanta, Nashville, New Orleans, Houston and more before wrapping in San Francisco at The Masonic. Ed Masley, The Arizona Republic, 31 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'kickoff.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1856, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1857, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of kickoff was in 1856

Dictionary Entries Near kickoff

Cite this Entry

“Kickoff.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
kick·​off ˈkik-ˌȯf How to pronounce kickoff (audio)
: a kick that puts the ball into play (as in soccer or football)

kick off

2 of 2 verb
: to make a kickoff

More from Merriam-Webster on kickoff

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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