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


plans to lead off the news conference with a prepared statement

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The past two All-Star Games went extras; Robinson Cano hit a leadoff homer in the 10th at Miami in 2017. SFChronicle.com, "Astros’ Justin Verlander tells ESPN that baseballs are juiced, ‘100 percent’," 8 July 2019 During the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays, DJ LeMahieu hit a leadoff homer to set the new league record. Alaa Abdeldaiem, SI.com, "Yankees Set MLB Record With Home Run in 28th Consecutive Game," 25 June 2019 Oakland trailed 1-0 after the first inning after A’s opener Joakim Soria allowed a leadoff homer to Tommy La Stella. Eugene W. Fields, The Mercury News, "A’s comeback bid foiled by Angels," 6 June 2019 Creighton 2, Michigan 0 SECOND INNING Top 2: Will Robertson hits a leadoff homer down the right field line. oregonlive.com, "Michigan Wolverines wins Corvallis Regional, beats Creighton Bluejays 17-6: Live updates recap," 3 June 2019 Armed with a 2-0 lead, Samardzija allowed a leadoff walk to catcher Tony Wolters, a one-out single to shortstop Garrett Hanson and another walk to right fielder Charlie Blackmon. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Pablo Sandoval showcases power, value at the plate, Giants drop series to Rockies," 26 June 2019 The rookie found trouble the old-fashioned way: a leadoff walk to Joey Wendle in the third inning. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "A’s can’t deliver a happy ending to a rough day, lose to Rays," 21 June 2019 Robbie Grossman drew a leadoff walk and Jurickson Profar walked with one out. Gideon Rubin, orlandosentinel.com, "Rays surrender 9th-inning lead, lose 5-4 at Oakland," 21 June 2019 Bettis pitched 2 ⅓ scoreless innings before issuing a leadoff walk to Tim Locastro to open the sixth. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies played free baseball down in the Arizona desert and walked away with sweep of D-backs," 20 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

No pitcher has ever allowed two-plus homers in more consecutive games than Strahm, whose dubious streak reached seven after Donovan Solano and Longoria led off the first and second innings with home runs. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Homers continue to haunt Padres’ Matt Strahm," 3 July 2019 Shaded Soul, veterans of the festival, return once again, leading off the series. Steve Smith, courant.com, "Shaded Soul To Kick Off Concert Series," 28 June 2019 Belt batted second against Arizona lefty Alex Young and Donovan Solano led off. … Dickerson did not start for the first time since his arrival after playing six games in a row. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Giants manager Bruce Bochy ‘can’t be happier’ for freshly elected All-Star Hunter Pence," 28 June 2019 Jack Blomgren singled against him leading off the seventh and a balk put him on second. Eric Olson, The Denver Post, "Vandy rides Rocker to win, forces a Game 3 vs. Michigan," 25 June 2019 That proved significant, as Mookie Betts led off the bottom of the inning by ambushing a first-pitch fastball into the first row of the center-field bleachers for his 13th homer, and his second of the year on a first pitch. Alex Speier, BostonGlobe.com, "Persistent Red Sox beat back, walk off Chicago," 24 June 2019 He was pulled after giving up Peralta's double to lead off the fifth. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Diamondbacks' June swoon continues with another home loss to Giants," 22 June 2019 Ivan Nova was cruising, having shut down the Cubs since Kyle Schwarber led off the game with a homer. Teddy Greenstein, chicagotribune.com, "An increase in velocity helps explain why White Sox lefty Aaron Bummer has emerged as one of the AL’s nastiest relievers," 19 June 2019 The Seminoles, who had their six-game postseason winning streak snapped, play Wednesday against Texas Tech at 7 p.m. Mike Salvatore led off the bottom of the first with a double. Mike Malloy, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida St. falls 2-0 to Michigan at CWS," 17 June 2019

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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Statistics for leadoff

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for leadoff

The first known use of leadoff was in 1806

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with leadoff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for leadoff

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characterized by aphorism

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