lead·​off | \ˈlēd-ˌȯf \

Definition of leadoff 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a beginning or leading action

2 : one that leads off

lead off

\ˈlēd- \

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

From the leadoff spot, Clifford ended his week 9-for-13 with seven RBIs and six runs. Blake Baumgartner, Naperville Sun, "Middle men: Nick Taylor and Nolan Clifford answer call but Neuqua Valley loses in eight innings," 13 July 2018 Short hops Lovullo had left fielder David Peralta in the leadoff spot for the first time since May 27. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Diamondbacks outfielder Jon Jay opening eyes with sliding catches," 6 July 2018 Alex Bregman replaced Springer in the leadoff spot for Friday's game while Josh Reddick manned right field. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros' George Springer gets day off to reset from slump," 29 June 2018 Batting in the leadoff spot, the Wisconsin Green Bay recruit hit .597 with a .643 on-base percentage. Paul Johnson, Elgin Courier-News, "A Tiffany diamond: Huntley's Tiffany Giese chosen as the 2018 Courier-News Softball Player of the Year," 26 June 2018 In the leadoff spot, Reeling got a hit in four of every 10 at-bats while posting a .571 on-base percentage. Kyle Stackpole, Howard County Times, "Marriotts Ridge junior Josh Olsufka captures baseball Player of the Year," 20 June 2018 Ordinarily, Hamels would be in the leadoff spot in Rangers Reaction. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Rangers Reaction: Things get weird for Rangers at home plate," 14 June 2018 Gardenhire tried sparking him with a spot start in the leadoff spot last week against the Boston Red Sox, but Jones struck out four times. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers hope slumping JaCoby Jones' HR breeds confidence," 14 June 2018 Thames made 16 starts in the leadoff spot last year and three this season. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 4, Cubs 0: Chase Anderson's arm, Travis Shaw's bat finally subdue the Cubs," 12 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Hernán Pérez led off the Brewers second with a triple into the right-field corner and Keon Broxton worked Fried for a walk. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 7, Braves 2: Jhoulys Chacín gives a weary bullpen some rest with 7 strong innings," 5 July 2018 But Brandon Crawford led off the second for the Giants by golfing a low pitch in the zone over the right field wall for a 1-0 lead. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Shelby Miller gets roughed up by Giants in second start, says he expects more from himself," 30 June 2018 Mike Moustakas led off the inning with a homer against starting pitcher Brent Suter, who'd only allowed three Royals to reach base in the first six innings. Maria Torres, kansascity, "Adalberto Mondesi sparks offense as Royals score five runs in an inning, beat Brewers," 27 June 2018 With the score newly tied and Nats reliever Justin Miller just in for starter Jefry Rodríguez, Jonathan Schoop led off the sixth with a long triple to right field and Danny Valencia followed with a walk. Peter Schmuck, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles let a lot go to waste in middle innings of their come-from-ahead loss to Nationals," 20 June 2018 Jose Martinez, however, led off the sixth with a four-pitch walk. John Fay, Cincinnati.com, "Harvey is good again as the Cincinnati Reds beat St. Louis," 13 July 2018 No limp was evident when Mike Scioscia tapped him to lead off the bottom of Sunday’s seventh inning by pinch hitting for first baseman Jefry Marte. Ethan Bauer, latimes.com, "Five things we learned from the Angels' series-clinching 4-3 win over the Dodgers," 9 July 2018 The Arrowhead senior launched a walk-off home run to left field to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning against Janesville Craig in the semifinal round. Curt Hogg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The 8 stars of spring: Homestead's Drew Bosley, Whitnall's Haley Wynn among the best and brightest from 2018 spring sports," 18 June 2018 Chris Owings was the target to lead off the bottom of the seventh, and Pirates starter Joe Musgrove, who hit three Diamondbacks hitters on the night, was the plunker. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Fueled by HBP, Diamondbacks rally late from 5-run deficit to defeat Pirates," 11 June 2018

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

3 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for leadoff

The first known use of leadoff was in 1806

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


by force of circumstances

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