lift·​off | \ˈlift-ˌȯf \

Definition of liftoff 

: a vertical takeoff by an aircraft or a rocket vehicle or missile

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Synonyms & Antonyms for liftoff


blastoff, launch, takeoff



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Examples of liftoff in a Sentence

a series of successful liftoffs Thousand of spectators gathered to watch the liftoff of the space shuttle.

Recent Examples on the Web

While the shuttles had more liftoff muscle than the Heavy, the all-time leaders in both size and might were NASA’s Saturn V rockets, which first flew astronauts to the moon in 1968. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "Elon Musk posts final photo of Tesla Roadster headed to asteroid belt," 8 Feb. 2018 At liftoff, with all 27 core stage engines firing in concert at about 92 percent of full power, the Heavy will generate 4.7 million pounds of thrust. William Harwood, CBS News, "SpaceX prepares for dramatic Falcon Heavy launch," 4 Feb. 2018 Less than 10 minutes after liftoff, the Dragon capsule separated from the rocket’s upper stage to begin a three-day chase of the ISS. James Dean, USA TODAY, "SpaceX Falcon rocket blasts off with robot crew member," 29 June 2018 In 2013, another vehicle performed a fiery dance seconds after liftoff because flight control sensors were hammered into the rocket’s compartment upside down. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Russia’s Proton rocket, which predates Apollo, will finally stop flying," 25 June 2018 Viewing may be limited to public parks and causeways at night because many restaurants and even bars in the area that are usually open could be closed by liftoff time. Paul Brinkmann,, "SpaceX SES 12 launch lights up the night," 4 June 2018 Then, this past March, the agency pushed the scheduled liftoff date back again, to May 2020. Mike Wall, Scientific American, "NASA Defers Launch of James Webb Space Telescope Again—This Time to 2021," 27 June 2018 At liftoff, the Heavy packs about 5 million pounds of thrust. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "How the SpaceX‬ ‪Falcon Heavy rocket compares to Elon Musk's other powerful spacecraft," 12 Mar. 2018 Speaking of test flights, Interstellar Technologies Inc. attempted to launch its Momo-2 rocket on Saturday, June 30, but the rocket burst into flames just seconds after liftoff from Hokkaido. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Japanese rocket blows up, NASA chief ponders purpose of SLS," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'liftoff.' 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 liftoff

circa 1956, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for liftoff

Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for liftoff

The first known use of liftoff was circa 1956

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More Definitions for liftoff



English Language Learners Definition of liftoff

: the upward movement from the ground by a rocket, helicopter, or space vehicle as it begins flight


lift·​off | \ˈlift-ˌȯf \

Kids Definition of liftoff

: a vertical takeoff (as by a rocket)

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