lift·off | \ ˈlift-ˌȯf \

Definition of liftoff 

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for liftoff


blastoff, launch, takeoff



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

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 An unmanned rocket crashed in a huge fireball just seconds after liftoff off in Japan. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "Rocket bursts into flames after liftoff in Japan," 30 June 2018 However, SpaceX won’t attempt to land this Falcon 9 after liftoff. Loren Grush, The Verge, "SpaceX is sending an AI robot ‘crew member’ to join the astronauts on the space station," 28 June 2018 Or, watch as NASA launches the Parker Solar Probe, scheduled for liftoff on July 31. Doreen Christensen,, "Freebies for National Teacher Appreciation Day on May 8," 4 May 2018 As planned, the nine Merlin 1D engines at the base of the first stage shut down two minutes and 45 seconds after liftoff, burning through virtually all of the booster's propellants. William Harwood, CBS News, "SpaceX rocket launches powerful communications satellite," 4 June 2018 Fly-sized bots have mastered liftoff, flight, landing, but all while bound to an outside power source. Ellen Airhart, WIRED, "This Insect-Sized Flying Robot Is Powered by Lasers," 15 May 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.

See More

First Known Use of liftoff

circa 1956, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about liftoff

Statistics for liftoff

Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for liftoff

The first known use of liftoff was circa 1956

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on liftoff

What made you want to look up liftoff? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!