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 Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the third when Pat Valaika hit a leadoff double, advanced on Eric Lauer’s wild pitch and scored on Drew Butera’s sacrifice fly. Bernie Wilson, The Denver Post, "Wil Myers’ walk-off single lifts Padres to 10th inning win over Rockies," 8 Sep. 2019 Marcus Semien hit a two-run triple and Ramon Laureano went 2-for-3, but came up hobbling after hitting his leadoff double in the sixth inning. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "Athletics players set, match career highs in win over Tigers," 7 Sep. 2019 Barnhart drove in Aquino, who reached on a leadoff double. sun-sentinel.com, "Reds rookie Aquino ties NL record with 13th HR of August as Marlins face four-game sweep," 29 Aug. 2019 In the fourth inning, Aquino hit a leadoff double into the left-field corner. Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Reds' Aristides Aquino ties NL rookie record; Anthony DeSclafani dominant in win," 28 Aug. 2019 Craig Stammen’s throwing error after giving up a leadoff double in the sixth tied the game and Ji-Man Choi’s two-run homer in the seventh off Michel Baez opened up a 6-4 lead. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Tatis exits with injury as Padres lose lead vs. Rays," 13 Aug. 2019 Joe Jimenez pitched a scoreless eighth inning, striking out two batters, and Nick Ramirez worked around a leadoff double in the 10th to earn the win. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Nicholas Castellanos ends losing skid with walk-off HR; Tigers win, 4-3, in 10," 21 July 2019 The Giants have struggled for years to find a true leadoff hitter. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Giants rookies Mauricio Dubon, Shaun Anderson might have given 2020 preview," 11 Sep. 2019 The Astros lost the game, 4-2, but now await word on their effervescent leadoff hitter. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros worry about George Springer after loss to Brewers," 4 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Spangenberg led off with an infield hit and was running on a 1-1 pitch when Hernán Pérez flied out to right. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 7, Cardinals 6: Ryan Braun stuns St. Louis with two-out grand slam in ninth inning," 15 Sep. 2019 Jose Abreu led off that inning by threading a single between diving third baseman Kyle Seager and shortstop J.P. Crawford, and Yoan Moncada doubled to threaten Hernandez for the first time. Chris Talbott, chicagotribune.com, "Former White Sox catcher Omar Narvaez walks off his old team for a 2-1 Mariners win," 14 Sep. 2019 Gio Urshela led off by homering over the Green Monster. BostonGlobe.com, "It was at the London Series in late June that manager Alex Cora noticed the difference between his Red Sox team and the New York Yankees.," 10 Sep. 2019 Related Stories Example: First inning, Marcus Semien leads off with a double to right-center. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "A’s threatening to cross line between irritant and nightmare," 8 Sep. 2019 Wednesday night, Pederson led off with a home run off Antonio Senzatela, drew a walk in the third and then mashed a two-run homer in the fourth off Wes Parsons. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies’ futility streak reaches nine games with 7-3 loss to Dodgers," 4 Sep. 2019 Howie Kendrick led off with a single against Ryne Stanek (0-3, 0-2 for the Marlins) and Trea Turner followed with a walk. Harvey Valentine, sun-sentinel.com, "Marlins blow ninth-inning lead to lose franchise-worst 13th straight road game," 31 Aug. 2019 Marte back in lineup Diamondbacks second baseman/center fielder Ketel Marte was leading off Thursday's starting lineup just two days after experiencing a right hamstring cramp in San Francisco. Richard Morin, azcentral, "Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Luke Weaver excited about potential return," 29 Aug. 2019 At the rose ceremony, Demi led off by giving her rose to Kristian. Dana Rose Falcone, PEOPLE.com, "Bachelor in Paradise: John Paul Jones Becomes the Center of a New Love Triangle," 26 Aug. 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

7 Oct 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

Comments on leadoff

What made you want to look up leadoff? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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