lift·​off | \ ˈlift-ˌȯf How to pronounce liftoff (audio) \

Definition of liftoff

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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for liftoff



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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 The next morning the Challenger broke apart 73 seconds after liftoff, the result of an O-ring failure that caused one of its booster rockets to spin out of control. New York Times, "Allan McDonald Dies at 83; Tried to Stop the Challenger Launch," 9 Mar. 2021 The New Shepard rocket reached a maximum velocity of 2,242 mph before releasing the crew capsule two minutes and 40 seconds after liftoff. William Harwood, CBS News, "Blue Origin launches New Shepard test flight, looks ahead to sending passengers into space," 14 Jan. 2021 The rocket's upper stage deployed the SXM-7 satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit 31 minutes after liftoff. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Angara finally flies again, Falcon 9 customers embrace reuse," 18 Dec. 2020 The booster on the Falcon 9 for Thursday’s launch has flown four other times, and teams will look to recover it once more about eight minutes after liftoff. Caroline Glenn,, "Watch it live: SpaceX to launch spy satellite from Kennedy Space Center," 19 Dec. 2020 This superheavy rocket will be 93 meters long, feature a 10-meter-diameter core, and have a mass at liftoff of 4,140 metric tons. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Billionaire backs Scottish spaceport, Relativity bags a bundle," 4 Dec. 2020 Audio and video from the mission’s control room captured employees of China’s space program applauding as the first and second stage of the rocket separated, and then when the spacecraft reached orbit about 15 minutes after liftoff. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, "China Launches Moon Mission to Bring Back Lunar Rocks," 23 Nov. 2020 The first-stage booster — aiming for an ocean platform several minutes after liftoff — is expected to be recycled by SpaceX for the next crew launch. The Salt Lake Tribune, "SpaceX launches 2nd crew, regular station crew flights begin," 16 Nov. 2020 Just 49 seconds after liftoff, it was struck by lightning. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "The space weather experts who give the go-ahead on when to launch and avoid disaster," 28 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for liftoff

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The first known use of liftoff was circa 1956

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Statistics for liftoff

Last Updated

20 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Liftoff.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce liftoff (audio) \

Kids Definition of liftoff

: a vertical takeoff (as by a rocket)

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Nglish: Translation of liftoff for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about liftoff

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