lead·​off | \ ˈlēd-ˌȯf How to pronounce leadoff (audio) \

Definition of leadoff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a beginning or leading action
2 : one that leads off

lead off

\ ˈlēd- How to pronounce lead off (audio) \
led off; leading off; leads off

Definition of lead off (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: begin also : to come on or perform first

transitive verb

1 : to make a start on : open
2 : to bat first for a baseball team in (an inning)

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Other Words from leadoff


leadoff adjective

Examples of leadoff in a Sentence

Verb plans to lead off the news conference with a prepared statement
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Abreu hit his 16th home run in the fourth, a leadoff shot that cut it to 3-1. Patrick Rose, Star Tribune, "Twins hit 3 homers, slow down White Sox with 5-1 win," 17 Sep. 2020 But once the leadoff walk and the out-in-front double, soft contact. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Dean Kremer continues impressive start to career, but Orioles' bats can’t back him up in 3-1 loss to Rays," 17 Sep. 2020 Anderson was lifted for Freddy Peralta after allowing a leadoff single in the sixth. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 7, Pirates 6: Eric Sogard picks up Josh Hader in the ninth with walk-off homer," 29 Aug. 2020 Yankees starter James Paxton took a one-hitter into the seventh before allowing a leadoff double to José Martinez. Mark Didtler, courant.com, "Perez has RBI single in ninth as Rays rally to beat Yankees," 9 Aug. 2020 Yankees starter James Paxton took a one-hitter into the seventh before allowing a leadoff double to José Martínez. Mark Didtler, orlandosentinel.com, "Michael Perez has RBI single in 9th, Rays rally to beat Yankees," 9 Aug. 2020 Johnny Cueto did not hide his frustration with Charlie Blackmon’s leadoff single in the sixth Monday night, a grounder past the normal shortstop position. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Giants lead majors in right-side defensive shifts, not always popular with pitchers," 4 Aug. 2020 Hernandez allowed a leadoff single in the eighth and a long drive to left field by Irving’s Trevor Story. Evan Grant, Dallas News, "Rangers’ unproven bullpen rises to the challenge in season opener," 24 July 2020 Votto was 3-for-29 entering Saturday as the leadoff hitter. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, "After 3-game benching, Joey Votto returns to the Cincinnati Reds' leadoff spot," 29 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Brewers put no pressure on him until the third, when Sogard doubled to lead off and moved to third on a Taylor grounder. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 3, Reds 2: Eric Sogard delivers a key hit and Brett Anderson a strong start," 22 Sep. 2020 The only other Orioles to reach first base safely were Ryan Mountcastle, who reached on an error to lead off the second and drew a walk with two outs in the fourth, and Pedro Severino, who singled on Cole’s 109th pitch with two outs in the seventh. Nathan Ruiz, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles can’t solve Gerrit Cole; Alex Cobb struggles in 6-0 loss to Yankees," 11 Sep. 2020 Tucker put Houston on the board in the first with a two-out homer to right field and Diaz's solo shot to left to lead off the second. Joe Reedy, Houston Chronicle, "Angels rally in 8th to complete sweep of Astros," 6 Sep. 2020 The match started strong for the Lions, who took an early lead off a rocketing shot from second-year striker Michel. Julia Poe, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando City draws 1-1 against Nashville to rise in Eastern Conference standings," 2 Sep. 2020 Gordon lead off the game with a home run, singled in the second inning, tripled to start the fourth and doubled in the fifth to complete the cycle. The Enquirer, "This date in baseball history: Pete Rose gets 4,191st hit, tying Ty Cobb," 8 Sep. 2020 In Game 7, won by Detroit 4-1, Brock made another critical lapse: He was picked off first by the Tigers' Mickey Lolich after singling to lead off the sixth inning, when there was no score. CBS News, "Lou Brock, Hall of Fame outfielder, has died at 81," 6 Sep. 2020 The Brewers had a chance to take the lead in the ninth after pinch-hitter Tyrone Taylor doubled to lead off the inning against Indians closer Brad Hand. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Indians 4, Brewers 3: Closer Josh Hader finally gives up a hit, two in fact, in ninth inning," 5 Sep. 2020 Mountcastle singled the other way to lead off the fourth, but he was erased on a double play. Nathan Ruiz, baltimoresun.com, "Ryan Mountcastle’s two homers not enough as Orioles lose on another walk-off hit to Blue Jays, 6-5," 30 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'leadoff.' 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 leadoff


circa 1886, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1806, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Time Traveler for leadoff

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The first known use of leadoff was in 1806

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Statistics for leadoff

Last Updated

21 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Leadoff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leadoff. Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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