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

Javier Zarracina/Vox; Getty Images Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, has always been the kickoff event of the holiday shopping season, and one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "Giving Tuesday, explained," 27 Nov. 2018 The discussions between Conmebol, FIFA and club officials dragged on for over an hour, pushing past the original kickoff time of 5 p.m. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "South America’s Soccer Final Postponed After Attack on Boca Juniors Team," 24 Nov. 2018 The Pac-12 television partners typically announce kickoff times 12 days before the games are played. Adam Jude, The Seattle Times, "Kickoff time announced for No. 10 Huskies’ Sept. 29 home game vs. No. 25 BYU," 17 Sep. 2018 The Allen High School take the field before kickoff against Prosper High School in Allen, Texas on Nov. 2. Jason Gay, WSJ, "An East Coast Schlub at Friday Night Lights," 8 Nov. 2018 Harris returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. Scott Hanson, The Seattle Times, "WSU coach Mike Leach glad to be 3-0, but says team must improve quickly," 17 Sep. 2018 Background: During his career, the Dearborn Heights Robichaud graduate returned five kickoffs, five interceptions, a punt and a fumble for touchdowns, giving him an NCAA Division I career record 12 touchdown returns. Mark Spezia, Detroit Free Press, "Local NFL draft hopefuls to play in college football all-star games," 19 Jan. 2018 England soccer fans flocked to Ye Olde King's Head British pub in Santa Monica hours before kickoff of the semifinal of the 2018 World Cup. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Qatar is the World Cup every fan should attend," 13 July 2018 Both matches begin early — 7 a.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. on Sunday — and visitors can start arriving an hour before kickoff. Luke Money,, "Segerstrom Center will host World Cup viewing parties this weekend," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Summit kicks off on Friday, November 30, with a day of career immersions to help support all of readers on their professional paths to success. Teen Vogue Staff, Teen Vogue, "How to Get Tickets for the Teen Vogue Summit Los Angeles 2018," 9 Nov. 2018 The process kicks off in late summer, when managers put candidates up for consideration. Liz Hoffman, WSJ, "These 69 New Goldman Sachs Partners Are the Happiest People on Wall Street Today," 7 Nov. 2018 Samsung’s developer conference kicks off on November 7th at 1PM ET / 10AM PT. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Samsung teases its foldable phone reveal with social media avatars," 5 Nov. 2018 The first episode kicks off with Dawson wondering about the bizarre nature of YouTube culture in general. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What Mental Health Experts Want You to Know Before Watching the Buzzy New YouTube Series ‘The Mind of Jake Paul’," 12 Oct. 2018 The 10th annual Architecture & Design Film Festival kicks off in New York City on October 16 and the lineup is stellar. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Architecture and Design Film Festival to kick off 10th year with heavy-hitting lineup," 10 Oct. 2018 The singer's Cry Pretty 360 Tour kicks off on May 1st. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "When Is Carrie Underwood's Baby Due?," 30 Sep. 2018 The first game of This Is Not a Game: The Game kicks off September 12 at 11pm EST. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Samantha Bee Unveils Midterm Election Trivia App 'This Is Not a Game: The Game'," 6 Sep. 2018 The tour kicks off in Chicago on November 13, and some tickets are still on sale for a few locations—at least, for now. Zoe Weiner, Glamour, "Michelle Obama Is Selling Out Arenas for Her Book Tour—and Tickets Cost as Much as $3,000," 22 Sep. 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

8 Dec 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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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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