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 official kickoff of the film trail happened in January, with the unveiling of three signs in Astoria., "The Historic Oregon Film Trail celebrates scenery, history, movies like ‘The Goonies,’ ‘Stand By Me,’ and more," 25 July 2019 Mandell did that toward the end of our conversation at the Dillon lemonade stand 90 minutes before kickoff. Mike Anthony,, "Mike Anthony: Hartford had it Saturday, and our new soccer team had a lot to do with it," 14 July 2019 Like any match which induces feverish excitement days before kickoff, there are also plenty of subplots which make for a fascinating contest. Aimee Lewis, CNN, "England vs. USA: English women chase World Cup history against 'the team everyone wants to beat'," 1 July 2019 Tickets for Thursday’s quarterfinal between Norway and England were selling for as little as $4.55 just hours before kickoff. Kevin Baxter,, "USA coach Jill Ellis can join elite company with a World Cup win over France," 27 June 2019 The junior from Clinton, Miss., recorded a team-best 866 all-purpose yards last season with 706 rushing yards, 145 receiving yards and 15 kickoff return yards. Chaunte'l Powell,, "FSU’s Cam Akers, Marvin Wilson earn spots on preseason watch lists," 16 July 2019 The only turnover was on a Storm kickoff that Dez Stewart recovered at the Storm’s 5. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Short of perfection: Rattlers suffer season's first loss to Sioux Falls Storm in United Bowl," 14 July 2019 Jabrill Peppers was the primary punt returner and split time on kickoffs over the last two seasons. Scott Patsko,, "Can Mike Priefer improve the Browns special teams? Cleveland Browns 19 questions," 3 July 2019 So Kiffin asked him to fill in on the kickoff return team., "For Former Soldiers and NFL Players, a Place to Heal," 1 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The site remained on the fringes until 2014, when some supporters of GamerGate — a loose reactionary collection of anti-feminist video gamers — flocked to 8chan after being kicked off 4chan. Kevin Roose,, "8chan’s founder is fed up. ‘Shut the site down,’ he says," 4 Aug. 2019 This appears to be the second such incident since protests kicked off. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "Hong Kong: Leader of outlawed political party among those arrested for weapons possession," 2 Aug. 2019 Dre’Mont Jones and Kendall Sheffield make their NFL debut There are 62 former Ohio State players on NFL rosters as preseason football kicks off. Stephen Means,, "Kevontre Bradford, four-star running back, offered by Ohio State: Buckeye Breakfast," 2 Aug. 2019 Among those present in court on Tuesday when the trial kicked off was U.S. diplomat, Robert C. O'Brien, who is the State Department's special presidential envoy for hostage affairs. NBC News, "ASAP Rocky set to give evidence in Swedish court in assault trial," 1 Aug. 2019 The panel, which was considering a bill from Graham to reform the asylum process, kicked off in a surprising way. Li Zhou, Vox, "The viral video of Lindsey Graham silencing Senate Democrats, explained," 1 Aug. 2019 The restaurant will celebrate 31st Annual Green Chile Festival, kicking off Monday, Aug. 12, and running through Sunday, Sept. 1. Roy Kent, Houston Chronicle, "31st annual Green Chile Festival heads to Houston-area Chuy’s restaurants," 1 Aug. 2019 More from Big Ten media days: Whether these things have been fixed remain a mystery until the Spartans kick off their season Aug. 30 against Tulsa (7 p.m., FS1). Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "5 big questions for Michigan State football's offense before preseason camp," 31 July 2019 Despite that, Jen’s Sweet Treats has been holding its first place standing in Wisconsin since the contest kicked off July 1. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Jen's Sweet Treats in Cudahy is leading in a national bakery contest. Your votes could help it win.," 30 July 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

4 Aug 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

Comments on kickoff

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marked by turns or indirection

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