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 The pitch that hit Reynolds first pegged Texas leadoff man Shin-Soo Choo, and a walk and a single followed to load the bases. Baltimore Sun Staff, baltimoresun.com, "Rangers score six in first, send Orioles to fourth straight loss, 9-4," 8 Sep. 2019 Left-handed hitter Max Kepler, who hit two doubles as the leadoff man on Friday, was dropped to the No. Dana Gauruder, Twin Cities, "Twins pitcher Randy Dobnak completes rapid, unlikely rise to majors," 31 Aug. 2019 Houston put the leadoff man aboard in six of the game's nine innings and coaxed nine walks. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Cavan Biggio, Blue Jays stump Astros," 31 Aug. 2019 The Blue Jays put the leadoff man on base in all six innings against Kershaw. Mike Digiovanna, Los Angeles Times, "Clayton Kershaw passes Sandy Koufax on the Dodgers’ all-time wins list," 20 Aug. 2019 In Oakland’s 6-5 loss to Kansas City at the Coliseum on Monday night, the shortstop became the team’s season home run leader batting leadoff — passing Rickey Henderson’s mark of 28 set in 1990. Susan Slusser, SFChronicle.com, "Big night for Marcus Semien, but A’s winning streak ends at six," 16 Sep. 2019 But just the sheer volume of at-bats at a production level that barely wavers has made Semien a premier leadoff batter. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "Three stats to know as the Athletics enter regular season home stretch," 14 Sep. 2019 Houston’s first run came in the third on a leadoff base hit by Robinson Chirinos and a double that hit off the right field wall by Josh Reddick. David Barron, Houston Chronicle, "A's hand Astros second home series loss of season," 13 Sep. 2019 The Red Sox raced out to a comfortable 4-0 advantage with the Betts leadoff blast (the 18th of his career, extending his own Red Sox record), an RBI single from Brock Holt in the second, and a two-run homer by J.D. Martinez off Suarez in the third. Alex Speier, BostonGlobe.com, "Mookie Betts homers in first, 15th innings as Red Sox outlast Angels," 31 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Soto made a dynamic World Series debut in the Nationals’ 5-4 victory in Game 1 on Tuesday, clubbing an opposite-field homer and lashing a two-run double to left to help build an early lead off Gerrit Cole. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "Nationals’ Juan Soto Goes From Tiniest Stage to Biggest," 22 Oct. 2019 After the Astros took a 1-0 lead on James Paxton in the top of the first, LeMahieu led off the bottom of the inning with a home run to left field. BostonGlobe.com, "NEW YORK — Justin Verlander could win his second Cy Young Award this season after winning 21 games and striking out 300 for the Houston Astros.," 19 Oct. 2019 Fans erupted after a replay review changed Edwin Encarnación's infield hit leading off the eighth to a groundout. Scott Orgera, Houston Chronicle, "Astros' Josh Reddick: Yankees fans 'disrespectful' for throwing debris," 15 Oct. 2019 Scherzer didn’t allow a hit until Paul Goldschmidt led off the seventh inning with a single that left fielder Juan Soto played conservatively with a one-run lead. Jay Cohen, The Denver Post, "Scherzer no-hit try into 7th, Nats top Cards, lead NLCS 2-0," 12 Oct. 2019 The Mariners took a 2-1 lead when Dylan Moore led off off the Seattle sixth with a no-doubter to left for his eighth home run of the year. 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 While Hendriks struck out Jordy Mercer leading off the bottom of the seventh, the K will actually go to Josh Harrison considering he was supposed to be batting but got released by the Tigers last month. Jane Mccauley, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers lose 'at home,' then beat A's on the road in extra innings," 6 Sep. 2019 Meadows homered off Buddy Boshers (0-3) leading off the seventh for a 5-4 lead and added an RBI double in the eighth against Ryan Tepera. Mark Didtler, orlandosentinel.com, "Austin Meadows helps wild card-leading Rays beat Blue Jays 6-4," 5 Sep. 2019 Mark Cahna delivered back-to-back home runs in the first inning to give the A’s a 3-1 lead off Yankees starter Domingo German. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "Homer Bailey delivers solid start in Oakland Athletics win over New York Yankees," 20 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

3 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for leadoff

The first known use of leadoff was in 1806

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More from Merriam-Webster on leadoff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for leadoff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


not being in agreement or harmony

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