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

South Korean officials suspected that a North Korean missile that exploded shortly after takeoff from the east coast in April last year may also have been a Pukguksong-2 missile. New York Times, "North Korea Razes Missile Test Facility Ahead of Meeting With Trump," 7 June 2018 That’s why solid rocket motors are often used as add-ons to rockets, in order to provide extra power during takeoff. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Europe will fire its record-setting big solid rocket motor this week," 11 July 2018 The app provides information about weather hazards like turbulence, lightning or hail that’s more accurate and easier to interpret than pilots used to be able to get after takeoff, said Tom Staigle, Delta’s chief technical pilot. Lauren Zumbach, chicagotribune.com, "From birthday wishes for passengers to tracking baggage handler injuries, airlines tap big data to try to improve operations," 12 July 2018 On a conventional airline flight, passengers feel the sensation of being pushed back in their seats for about a minute or so during and shortly after takeoff. Denise Chow /, NBC News, "Boeing's planned hypersonic airliner could fly from NYC to London in two hours," 28 June 2018 Orlando Executive Airport spokeswoman Carolyn Fennell tells the Orlando Sentinel that the plane failed to gain sufficient airspeed after takeoff. Fox News, "Plane takes off, falls into ditch at Florida airport," 26 June 2018 At the time of Troy's death, a preliminary incident report by the NTSB cited engine trouble that occurred shortly after takeoff. Taylor Weatherby, Billboard, "Troy Gentry's Wife Sues Helicopter Manufacturer For 'Dangerous Defects Which Caused' Fatal Crash," 22 Feb. 2018 Last September, a Saratov Airlines An-148 had one of its engines shut down minutes after takeoff, but landed safely. kansascity, "Workers find both data recorders at Russian plane crash site | The Kansas City Star," 12 Feb. 2018 Transportation officials recommend explaining sounds — engines throttling up for takeoff, the thump of landing gear, the roar of reverse thrusters after touchdown — and that occasional patches of bumpy air are no cause for concern. Kay Manning, chicagotribune.com, "Considering having a child fly solo? Here's what to know," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Or go to a grassy area nearby any time and just sit or lie back to watch planes take off and land. Vickie Snow Jurkowski, Daily Southtown, "From fests to concerts to stargazing, lots of events offer free admission this summer," 12 July 2018 Oakland catcher Jonathan Lucroy scopped up the ball in fair territory and tried to tag Bregman for an easy out, but somehow lost control of the baseball and a juking Bregman took off down the first-base line. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "Relive Astros' Alex Bregman's wacky walk-off in photos," 11 July 2018 Foreign investment flowed in to Nicaragua, coffee and beef exports rose, and gold mining, tourism and renewable energy took off. John Otis, WSJ, "Nicaraguan Leader’s Former Pro-Business Allies Want Him Out," 10 July 2018 The young actor’s sister shared a video of Karras re-enacting, word for word, a scene from the beloved ogre movie during a road trip — and the video rapidly took off on Twitter, going viral over the weekend for Karras’s pitch-perfect voice acting. Raisa Bruner, Time, "People Are Really, Really Obsessed With This Guy's Shrek Impression," 10 July 2018 Police say his older brother followed him, picked up a knife, stabbed him and then took off before police arrived. Susannah Bryan, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Fort Lauderdale police hunt man accused of stabbing his brother to death on the Fourth of July," 9 July 2018 An ankle injury and a broken hamate bone in his hand limited his development early, but Harrison took off once healthy in 2017, winning Midwest League MVP honors. Andre C. Fernandez, miamiherald, "A skilled three-sport star, the Marlins' top prospect might be baseball's most athletic," 9 July 2018 When the deputy tried to talk to the group, a man and a woman got on the motorcycle and took off quickly, Collier said. Kate Morrissey, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Stolen motorcycle crashes shortly after police chase begins," 8 July 2018 Richard was dining with friends on Wednesday at a Whataburger restaurant in San Antonio when Jimenez walked up to the group's table and took off the teen's hat, according to the San Antonio Police Department. Kristine Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "Man accused of taking teen's 'Make America Great Again' hat and throwing soda in his face faces theft charge," 7 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

9 Oct 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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Comments on takeoff

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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