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 Nowhere are the stakes higher for Mr. Biden than in Iowa, the leadoff caucus state where Mr. Biden will return for a four-day swing on Wednesday. Katie Glueck, New York Times, "The Many Ways That Joe Biden Trips Over His Own Tongue," 30 Oct. 2019 Buttigieg is campaigning aggressively in Iowa, where Warren recently edged Biden in the race for the leadoff caucuses. oregonlive, "Who won October’s Democratic presidential debate? Vote here," 16 Oct. 2019 Adames bobbled Gurriel's leadoff grounder to shortstop, then bounced the thorw to first. baltimoresun.com, "Gerrit Cole fans 15, Alex Bregman homers as Astros top Rays, 3-1," 6 Oct. 2019 Crawford batted leadoff for the first time in 1,151 major-league starts. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Giants win on Jaylin Davis’ walkoff homer after another fine night for Jeff Samardzija," 25 Sep. 2019 Ben Chapman: The New York Yankees outfielder who played at Birmingham’s Phillips High became the first player to bat for the American League in an All-Star Game, hitting leadoff on July 6, 1933, at Comiskey Park in Chicago. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Alabama 200: State’s sports history littered with amazing, memorable moments," 27 Nov. 2019 The left-handed-hitting Akiyama, 31, could upgrade the Cubs’ leadoff and center-field spots. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, "Cubs are showing interest in a pair of Far East free agents: Korean pitcher Kwang-Hyun Kim and Japanese outfielder Shogo Akiyama," 21 Nov. 2019 The Yankees get Betts to hit leadoff and play center field for a World Series contender — plus a year to convince him to sign a long-term deal. BostonGlobe.com, "SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It’s a story that was never confirmed and never will be now that so many years have passed. But at some point in the late 1940s, Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey and Yankees owner Dan Topping supposedly agreed over drinks one night in Manhattan to swap Ted Williams for Joe DiMaggio.," 13 Nov. 2019 Woodlands picked up two insurance runs in the top of the seventh as Alexa Vandoff had a leadoff triple to left field and Chelsea Smith followed with an RBI single for a 4-2 lead. Gary Curreri, sun-sentinel.com, "Woodlands Middle Mustangs win county softball championship," 1 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The shootout was tied after four rounds, and junior Michael Ciano led off the fifth round with a goal for Belmont. BostonGlobe.com, "Belmont (11-4-2) will host Marblehead (9-7-3) in a quarterfinal Saturday.," 7 Nov. 2019 The next day, Keener, Arquette and Fonda were among the 46 people the police led off in plastic handcuffs for occupying the soaring atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill. New York Times, "Jane Fonda at 81, Proudly Protesting and Going to Jail," 3 Nov. 2019 Colorado tied the game 1-1 in the fifth on an RBI double by Tony Wolters, who drove in Sam Hilliard, who had led off with a walk. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies get strong effort from Senzatela, defeat Cardinals again," 11 Sep. 2019 Glenelg ended up taking the lead again in the bottom of the sixth, getting an RBI hit from Stetser to plate Molly Dustin — who had led off the inning with a double. Brent Kennedy, Howard County Times, "Reservoir softball earns comeback win over Glenelg to stay atop county standings," 18 Apr. 2018 Luis Gonzalez walks it off for the Arizona Diamondbacks (2001) The comeback against the game's best reliever of all time, New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, began when Mark Grace led off the ninth with a single up the middle. Christopher Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Game 7 moments worth revisiting before Astros-Nationals World Series wraps up," 30 Oct. 2019 After Urshela led off the ninth inning with a single, LaMahieu faced closer Roberto Osuna with one out. Los Angeles Times, "Jose Altuve’s walk-off home run sends Astros past Yankees and into World Series," 19 Oct. 2019 Bauer did not give up a hit until Kyle Lewis led off the Seattle fifth with a home run. John Fay, Cincinnati.com, "Amir Garrett gives up a two-run homer as the Cincinnati Reds fall to Seattle Mariners 4-3," 11 Sep. 2019 After left fielder Mike Yastrzemski led off the inning with a triple and second baseman Scooter Gennett followed with a RBI single, the Giants loaded the bases and brought the go-ahead run to the plate. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Giants suffer rare loss in Madison Bumgarner start, can’t complete sweep," 18 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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Time Traveler for leadoff

Time Traveler

The first known use of leadoff was in 1806

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Statistics for leadoff

Last Updated

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Leadoff.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leadoff. Accessed 11 December 2019.

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for leadoff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with leadoff

Comments on leadoff

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heavy with or as if with moisture

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