lift·​off ˈlift-ˌȯf How to pronounce liftoff (audio)
: a vertical takeoff by an aircraft or a rocket vehicle or missile

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 As a result, SpaceX commanded a detonation of the tumbling vehicle, which occurred four minutes after liftoff. Mike Wall, Scientific American, 20 Nov. 2023 This was only the second launch of Starship, after a first test in April ended with the rocket exploding several minutes after liftoff. Denise Chow, NBC News, 18 Nov. 2023 During the first test in April, the rocket was forced to self-destruct about three minutes after liftoff when the boosters failed to separate. Meredith Deliso, ABC News, 18 Nov. 2023 The launching came nearly seven months after an April 20 maiden test flight ended in a spectacular conflagration four minutes after liftoff, triggered by multiple first stage engine failures, problems separating the Starship from the Super Heavy and a catastrophic tumble. William Harwood, CBS News, 18 Nov. 2023 If all goes as intended, the Super Heavy booster will detach from the spacecraft less than three minutes after liftoff and head back toward the ground, landing in the Gulf of Mexico about seven minutes into the flight. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Nov. 2023 The scrutiny from regulatory agencies followed the first Starship test flight in April, which ended when the rocket tumbled out of control and self-destructed around a few minutes after liftoff. Stephen Clark, Ars Technica, 16 Nov. 2023 The reusable boosters produced more than 6 million pounds of thrust during liftoff, igniting only after the space shuttle’s main engines were at full thrust, according to the science center. Rong-Gong Lin Ii, Los Angeles Times, 11 Oct. 2023 At liftoff, the white boosters were set underneath Endeavour’s wings and produced more than 80% of the lift. Rong-Gong Lin Ii, Los Angeles Times, 10 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'liftoff.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1956, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of liftoff was circa 1956

Dictionary Entries Near liftoff

Cite this Entry

“Liftoff.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


lift·​off ˈlif-ˌtȯf How to pronounce liftoff (audio)
: a vertical takeoff (as by a rocket)

More from Merriam-Webster on liftoff

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