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 Just 10 days after their flight ended, the space shuttle Challenger failed shortly after liftoff and all seven astronauts were killed. Fox News, "Senate confirms former Florida Sen. Bill Nelson to head NASA," 30 Apr. 2021 About 35 minutes after liftoff, the Starlink satellites were successfully deployed into orbit by the second stage rocket early Thursday morning, totaling 1,505 Starlink satellites placed in orbit. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "Watch: SpaceX launches another batch of 60 Starlink satellites," 29 Apr. 2021 The two outboard common core boosters, after helping lift the rocket out of the dense lower atmosphere, were jettisoned about four minutes after liftoff. William Harwood, CBS News, "Powerful Delta 4 Heavy rocket boosts spy satellite into space from California," 26 Apr. 2021 Friday’s situation, however, popped up quickly — just several hours after liftoff. Marcia Dunn, Chron, "False alarm: No space junk threat after all to SpaceX crew," 26 Apr. 2021 The first-stage booster aimed for a touchdown on an ocean platform nine minutes after liftoff. NBC News, "NASA, SpaceX launch astronauts on reused rocket to International Space Station," 23 Apr. 2021 After liftoff, Falcon 9's first stage will target a drone ship landing just northeast of Florida. Jennifer Sangalang, USA TODAY, "It’s launch day! NASA, SpaceX send astronauts to space station from Kennedy Space Center," 23 Apr. 2021 The Falcon 9 rocket blazed across a black sky just before sunrise and NASA confirmed shortly after liftoff Friday that the astronauts had safely reached orbit. Catherine Thorbecke, ABC News, "SpaceX launches 4 astronauts to ISS on recycled rocket and capsule," 23 Apr. 2021 The first-stage booster touched down on an ocean platform nine minutes after liftoff. Marcia Dunn, The Christian Science Monitor, "In a first, SpaceX reuses rocket to send humans into orbit," 23 Apr. 2021

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of liftoff was circa 1956

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Statistics for liftoff

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Liftoff.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 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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