take·​off | \ ˈtāk-ˌȯf How to pronounce takeoff (audio) \

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

took off; taken off; taking off; takes 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

Noun Please remain seated during takeoff. Air Force One, you're ready for takeoff. All the high jumpers had flawless takeoffs. Verb 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 In January, a Boeing 737 belonging to Ukraine International Airlines was shot down shortly after takeoff from the airport in Tehran, Iran, killing all 176 people aboard. Bloomberg.com, "Ukraine Plane Crash Death Toll Rises to 26, With 1 Survivor," 26 Sep. 2020 In January, a Boeing 737 belonging to Ukraine International Airlines was shot down shortly after takeoff from the airport in Tehran, Iran, killing all 176 people aboard. Fox News, "Ukraine plane crash death toll rises to 26, with 1 survivor," 26 Sep. 2020 After takeoff, the man claimed both armrests on the middle seat. Christopher Elliott, USA TODAY, "As airlines begin selling middle seats again, it's time to remember nobody owns the armrests," 18 Sep. 2020 The aviation planner also cited public safety issues, citing a deadly crash this summer where a plane departing the South Valley Regional Airport hit a West Jordan home a mile after takeoff. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Proposed housing development north of Salt Lake City International Airport has lots of opponents," 14 Sep. 2020 Aquiline was a small drone, meant to be kept as close to bird-like size as possible—five feet long, 7.5 feet wide, and a takeoff weight of 83 pounds—under the constraints of the technology of the time. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The CIA Built a Nuclear Bird Drone to Spy on Communists. Now It's Declassified.," 11 Aug. 2020 The sale would consist of 63 F-35A jets, which take off from runways, and 42 F-35B jets, which require a short takeoff roll and can landing vertically. Brad Lendon, CNN, "Japan announces plans for new stealth fighter as US approves sale of F-35 jets," 10 July 2020 Alia has a 50-foot wingspan, and will have a takeoff weight of 6,000 pounds—the prototype airlifted in Vermont on Friday weighed 3,800 pounds, having been stripped of batteries and other heavy components. Eric Adams, Wired, "A New Air Taxi Model Takes Design Cues From a Far-Flying Bird," 12 June 2020 XpresSpa is just about everywhere in American airports, and a lifesaver for efficient travelers who like to sneak in a beauty treatment while waiting for takeoff. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "From Manicures to COVID-19 Tests: How an Airport Spa Brand Pivoted During the Pandemic," 8 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But the sector could take off post-Election Day if Joe Biden and the Democrats sweep to power in January. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Gold bugs are on the back foot as COVID concerns climb and stimulus-check hopes fade," 25 Sep. 2020 But on Reddit, new discussion threads don’t take off, and the major subreddits are gone. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, "Reddit Squashed QAnon by Accident," 23 Sep. 2020 Employees can take off election day — Nov. 3 — or another day during their state's early or absentee voting period. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "American Family giving more than 13,500 employees a paid day off to vote," 18 Sep. 2020 According to the Orlando Sentinel, witnesses from the hotel saw Wilson return to the lake, take off all her clothes, and begin to swim. Steve Helling, PEOPLE.com, "After Allegedly Drowning Her Son, Florida Mom Found in Lake Repeating, 'God Forgive Me'," 17 Sep. 2020 Or take off nail polish (just add remover and voila!). Courtney Thompson, CNN Underscored, "Amazon shoppers are obsessed with these reusable Swedish dishcloths," 17 Sep. 2020 Still, the technology is no where near ready to — um — take off. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "GM's Barra talks flying cars and transforming the automaker," 16 Sep. 2020 While his father, Mark, and big brother, Derek, waited for him in the golf cart, young Ricky Castillo suddenly would take off sprinting down the fairway after his ball — too eager to wait for anyone before taking another whack at it. Edgar Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Gators golfer Ricky Castillo eager to test is game at U.S. Open," 15 Sep. 2020 Its current version can take off weighing close to 1 million pounds and fly 9,200 miles. Scott Mccartney, WSJ, "The Jumbo Jet Was the Pinnacle of Air Luxury—Now Its Days Are Numbered," 8 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for takeoff

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for takeoff

Last Updated

30 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Takeoff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/takeoff. Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for takeoff


How to pronounce take off (audio)

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 How to pronounce takeoff (audio) \

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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