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) \

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)

Keep scrolling for more

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

Maikel Franco has three hits, including a leadoff double in the top of the seventh. Scott Lauber, Philly.com, "Maikel Franco's four-hit game propels Phillies win over Nationals," 23 June 2018 Four of the Dodgers’ nine starters were replaced by players off the bench Tuesday, including their leadoff and No. Brian Costa, WSJ, "Red Sox Manager Alex Cora Is Hitting on Every Move," 24 Oct. 2018 George Springer rolled a single, the first leadoff man to reach on an otherwise anemic offensive evening. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros held scoreless in loss to A's," 10 July 2018 Following Mike Zunino’s leadoff double to start the bottom of the seventh, Dee Gordon pulled a fly ball to right field that bounced off the top of the wall and over for his fourth homer of the season. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "It’s a celebration at Safeco Field, but visiting A’s enjoy all the fun of making playoffs," 24 Sep. 2018 Oakland took advantage in the ninth with a leadoff double followed by a single to bring in the eventual game-winning run. George Stoia, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers lose big lead, fall to Oakland Athletics, 9-7," 26 June 2018 Miller, regularly clocked at 95-mph on his two-seam fastball, nearly pulled a Houdini-like escape in the third after giving up a leadoff double to Straily. Harvey Fialkov, azcentral, "Diamondbacks' Shelby Miller remains positive after rough return against Marlins," 25 June 2018 Trailing by two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, Scott Schebler opened with a leadoff double to center field. Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati.com, "Scooter Gennett, Eugenio Suarez back-to-back homers lift Cincinnati Reds to win vs. Tigers," 20 June 2018 After a leadoff double by Bailey Rassol, a sacrifice bunt got her to third base. Dan Shulman, BostonGlobe.com, "Norton softball reaches D2 South semifinals after dramatic walkoff win," 12 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Read More With Skoglund on the DL, Rule-5 acquisition Brad Keller will start for Royals Missed scoring opportunity: The Royals' Hunter Dozier scorched a double to center field to lead off the seventh inning against Colon. Maria Torres, kansascity, "Kevin McCarthy surrenders walk-off homer in Royals' 10th-inning loss to Rangers | The Kansas City Star," 26 May 2018 Mitch Haniger and Jean Segura had singles to lead off the inning, and Cruz tied the score when his line drive to right-center field just cleared the fence. Scott Hanson, The Seattle Times, "Mariners rally in 11th, end A’s chances at AL West title," 25 Sep. 2018 Jonathan Villar came close to registering Milwaukee's first hit to lead off the fifth, but Muñoz ranged into short left field and made a nice play to haul in his liner. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 2, Cardinals 1: Jesús Aguilar belts two home runs, including a walk-off blast in thriller," 22 June 2018 Aidan Griffin led off the fifth with a double and scored on Cal Hejza’s single to cut the lead to 4-1. Paul Johnson, Aurora Beacon-News, "Jason Crafton better than fair, but ‘fluky’ second inning dooms Oswego in summer baseball regional semifinals," 11 July 2018 But with Manny Machado at the plate, Gentry then took a large lead off second and made a premature break for third. Eduardo A. Encina, baltimoresun.com, "Gentry's base-running gaffe in ninth inning proves costly in Orioles' loss to Nats," 30 May 2018 The Huskies jumped out to a 1-0 lead off the stick of Max Kalter. Marisa Ingemi, courant.com, "UConn Can't Protect Lead, Falls To BU In Hockey East Playoffs," 10 Mar. 2018 Nice to see: Matt Duffy playing third base and leading off for Tampa Bay. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, "A’s road trip: a step into the light," 6 Apr. 2018 Benintendi, whose diving catch secured Boston’s win in Game 4 of the ALCS, outdid himself when Brian Dozier led off the fifth inning with a deep drive to the warning track. Brian Costa, WSJ, "Red Sox Notch Game 2 World Series Win Over Dodgers," 25 Oct. 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.

See More

First Known Use of leadoff


circa 1886, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1806, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about leadoff

Statistics for leadoff

Last Updated

24 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for leadoff

The first known use of leadoff was in 1806

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on leadoff

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).


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!