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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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 Antares launch of what is dubbed NG-12, the first of six missions for the company under the new Commercial Resupply Services-2 contract, is scheduled for liftoff at 9:59 a.m. Saturday. Richard Tribou,, "50 years after Alan Bean launched on Apollo 12, Cygnus supply module named Alan Bean heads to ISS," 1 Nov. 2019 The next delivery of supplies for the International Space Station — scheduled for liftoff this weekend — includes the Zero G Oven. Washington Post, "3-2-1-Cookoff! Astronauts to bake cookies with new test oven," 31 Oct. 2019 Carrying 24 payloads, STP-2 will be using a SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch vehicle for liftoff. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Carl Sagan's Solar Sail Is Finally Ready To Fly," 21 June 2019 Most experts suspect that liftoff will be the mission’s most challenging event. Robin George Andrews, Scientific American, "Rocks, Rockets and Robots: The Plan to Bring Mars Down to Earth," 6 Feb. 2020 Just nine-and-a-half minutes after liftoff from pad 39A, Crew Dragon was back on Earth and waiting for recovery teams staffed by the Air Force, SpaceX, and NASA. Emre Kelly, USA TODAY, "SpaceX rocket explodes after liftoff as planned; Crew Dragon capsule escapes fireball," 19 Jan. 2020 Originally scheduled for liftoff from Kourou, French Guiana, on the morning of December 17, the probe’s departure was delayed at the last minute by officials citing a software error. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Three Things to Know About Europe’s New Exoplanet Space Telescope," 19 Dec. 2019 SpaceX recovered the new booster on a barge just off the coast in the Atlantic several minutes following liftoff so that it could be reused. Fox News, "SpaceX launches payload of 'muscle mice,' barley grains to space station," 6 Dec. 2019 More than four hours are expected to pass between liftoff and the separation of satellites. Washington Post, "European planet-studying mission launches from South America," 18 Dec. 2019

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

24 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Liftoff.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce liftoff (audio)

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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