take·​off | \ˈtāk-ˌȯf \

Definition of takeoff 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a rise or leap from a surface in making a jump or flight or an ascent in an aircraft or in the launching of a rocket

b : an action of starting out

c : a rapid rise in activity, growth, or popularity an economic takeoff

2 : an imitation especially in the way of caricature

3a : a spot at which one takes off

b : a starting point : point of departure

4 : an action of removing something

5 : a mechanism for transmission of the power of an engine or vehicle to operate some other mechanism

take off


Definition of take off (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : remove take your shoes off

2a : to take or allow as a discount : deduct took 10 percent off

b : to spend (a period of time) away from a usual occupation or activity took two weeks off

c : release take the brake off

d : discontinue, withdraw took off the morning train

3 slang : rob

intransitive verb

1a : to start off or away often suddenly : set out, depart took off for her trip

b : to leave the surface : begin flight

c : to spring into wide use or popularity

d(1) : to branch off (as from a main stream or stem)

(2) : to take a point of origin

e : to begin a leap or spring

f : to embark on rapid activity, development, or growth

2 : to take away : detract

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Examples of takeoff in a Sentence


Please remain seated during takeoff. Air Force One, you're ready for takeoff. All the high jumpers had flawless takeoffs.


I can only stay for a few minutes, and then I'll need to take off again. take off your coat and stay awhile
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Does your work relate in any way to Tom Sachs’s takeoffs of fashion logos? Vogue, "You Won’t Believe What Ava Nirui Dreamed Up for Her New Marc Jacobs Collaboration," 1 Nov. 2018 The flight was forced to make an emergency landing into JFK airport around 8 p.m. The flight was delayed nearly eight hours from the 6:28 schedule takeoff time. Alexandra Deabler, Fox News, "Delta flight blows tires during emergency landing at JFK airport," 25 Sep. 2018 The three-stage, solid-propellant rocket named Zhuque-1 has a takeoff mass of 27 metric tons. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Vega soars, Delta 2 end nears, hearing a Falcon Heavy launch," 24 Aug. 2018 Then, the crew would be turned over to the tower for clearance takeoff. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "Stolen Horizon Air plane ‘a serious breach,’ raises questions about airport security," 14 Aug. 2018 That’s the same weight of nearly 22 Boeing airplanes at maximum takeoff weight. Anne Geggis, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Pompano's new pier construction reaches the halfway mark," 10 July 2018 Engines are currently tested at 100 percent takeoff power or thrust, which is ideal for testing fan blades, but does not adequately simulate lower fan speeds used during climb and descent -- so a bird strike could be more damaging. CBS News, "9 years after "Miracle on the Hudson," FAA proposes new test for engine bird strikes," 6 July 2018 This supports the view that the McCormick House was not a one-off, but a takeoff point for an investigation into prefab housing. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "A less-is-more restoration of a Mies house expands our view of a little-known episode in the famed architect's career," 8 June 2018 The Brussels Airport heist, by contrast, unfolded with razor-like precision, all during the 18-minute window between the moment the jewels were loaded onto the plane and takeoff time. Eric Konigsberg, Town & Country, "Old School Jewelry Heists Are on the Rise—And Celebrities Are the Target," 12 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The flight-recorder data is presented as a series of line graphs that give a clear picture of what was going on with the aircraft systems as the plane taxied on the ground, took off and flew for just 11 minutes. Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times, "Lion Air pilots struggled against Boeing’s 737 MAX flight-control system, black-box data shows," 27 Nov. 2018 As the Cold War took off, Saudi Arabia also became a strong ally of the US in the fight against communism. Alex Ward, Vox, "Why the US won’t break up with Saudi Arabia over Jamal Khashoggi’s murder," 20 Nov. 2018 Microsoft initially made Cortana only available through its Windows operating system, an approach that limited the service as voice computing took off in a new era of smart speakers. Jay Greene, WSJ, "A Key Executive Is Leaving Microsoft," 6 Nov. 2018 If the rocket can't take off in that window, there are additional opportunities until Sept. 15. Meghan Bartels, Space.com, "NASA Will Launch 2 Rockets to Test a Mars Parachute and Track 'Nanoflares'," 6 Sep. 2018 Since her career took off in the 1990s, McGrath has worked with top models like Naomi Campbell and Gigi Hadid and photographers like Steven Meisel, on countless photo shoots. Baze Mpinja, Allure, "Why Self-Made Boss Pat McGrath Is an Invaluable Asset to the Beauty World," 23 July 2018 He and his Xavier staff recruited Hurt two years ago before Hurt's recruitment took off. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "He has local ties, but U of L faces tough competition for Matthew Hurt," 14 July 2018 As Brilinta's sales took off later, however, AstraZeneca and firms selling or developing similar cardiovascular therapies showered the four with money for travel and advice. Charles Piller, Science | AAAS, "Hidden conflicts? Pharma payments to FDA advisers after drug approvals spark ethical concerns," 5 July 2018 In Brazil, meanwhile, streets were largely empty as millions took off work and schools were shuttered so people could watch the team play on televisions in bars, squares and beaches. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "Mexican fans will have to wait to get to 'fifth game' at a World Cup," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'takeoff.' 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 takeoff


1833, in the meaning defined at sense 3a


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for takeoff

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for takeoff

The first known use of takeoff was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for takeoff



English Language Learners Definition of takeoff

: the moment when an airplane, helicopter, etc., leaves the ground and begins to fly

: the beginning of a jump

: a sudden increase in size, activity, or popularity


take·​off | \ˈtāk-ˌȯf \

Kids Definition of takeoff

1 : an act or instance of leaving the ground (as by an airplane)

2 : an imitation especially to mock the original

3 : a spot at which something leaves the ground

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More from Merriam-Webster on takeoff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with takeoff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for takeoff

Spanish Central: Translation of takeoff

Nglish: Translation of takeoff for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about takeoff

Comments on takeoff

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a nest or breeding place

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