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 The planes were grounded around the world in March, days after an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max crashed minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 passengers and crew. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "Are Max 737s closer to flying? FAA 'looks forward' to international panel's findings as grounding drags on," 21 Aug. 2019 The first International Docking Adaptor was destroyed in 2015, when the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying it to the station disintegrated after takeoff. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Watch SpaceX launch a new docking port to the International Space Station," 24 July 2019 Njoroge's family died in the Ethiopian Airlines crash shortly after takeoff from Addis Abbaba. CBS News, "Man who lost family in Boeing crash makes emotional plea on Capitol Hill," 17 July 2019 The aircraft, immediately after takeoff, had an engine failure due to suspected bird hit. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "After a Bird Collision, Pilot Saves Jet (With Explosions)," 1 July 2019 The Piper Cherokee Six plummeted into the Atlantic shortly after takeoff from the popular tourist destination of Roatan en route to the port of Trujillo. Freddy Cuevas, The Seattle Times, "4 Americans, 1 Canadian die in small plane crash in Honduras," 19 May 2019 Crew members in the cockpit received an error message just as the Boeing 737-800 was approaching the runway and decided to abort the takeoff, authorities said. Rebecca Tan, Anchorage Daily News, "Airline mechanic accused of sabotaging jet navigation system was previously fired by Alaska Airlines for maintenance mistakes," 7 Sep. 2019 The tampering was discovered after American pilots got an error message on Flight 2834 from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas, on July 17 and aborted takeoff. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "American Airlines mechanic charged with trying to sabotage Miami flight amid labor dispute," 5 Sep. 2019 Instead, minutes after takeoff, someone approached Orgeron to deliver some bad news: Tom Herman has been offered the LSU job. Ross Dellenger, SI.com, "The Story of Tom Herman, Ed Orgeron and LSU's Wild 2016 Coaching Search," 2 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Police were called to the scene about 2 p.m. and found that the pilot of an Aerolite 103 that had taken off from RICONN Airport in Rhode Island was turning to return to the airport when the aircraft crashed into woods adjacent to the airport. David Owens, courant.com, "Pilot badly injured when ultralight crashes in Sterling," 15 Sep. 2019 Diekman caught a break when Altuve took off early for third and was thrown out, and Yordan Alvarez struck out to end the inning. David Barron, Houston Chronicle, "A's hand Astros second home series loss of season," 13 Sep. 2019 Travel along the Mississippi River on the Padelford Riverboat that takes off from Harriet Island in St. Paul ($21 to $50; 651-243-6358; riverrides.com) and features lunch or dinner cruise packages. Jess Fleming, Twin Cities, "Fall foodie bucket list: Outdoor eating and drinking before the snow flies," 10 Sep. 2019 The 1961 Cessna 210 Centurion took off from Florida Keys Marathon International Airport Sunday morning and crashed near Rachel Key on the Gulf side of the island chain, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said. Doug Phillips, sun-sentinel.com, "Two dead after small plane crashes in the Florida Keys," 9 Sep. 2019 Politico first reported that the military transport that took off from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage in March spent the night at the Turnberry resort, about 50 miles outside Glasgow. Mark Thiessen, Anchorage Daily News, "Air Force disputes report that Trump’s Scottish resort was favored as overnight stop for Alaska-based crew," 8 Sep. 2019 The current epidemic emerged about a year ago and took off earlier this year, with most of the cases reported in Orthodox Jewish communities in and around New York City. Washington Post, "No new measles cases reported in fading US outbreak," 18 Sep. 2019 The plane had been scheduled to take off from Marathon, Florida, at 6 a.m., according to flight logs, Monroe County officials said. Lillian Reed, baltimoresun.com, "Towson couple killed in plane crash near Florida Keys, officials say," 10 Sep. 2019 And exponentially so: Since the 1940s, when plastic production began to take off, microplastic deposition rates have doubled every 15 years. Wired, "Plastic Will Be the Shameful Artifact Our Descendants Dig Up," 4 Sep. 2019

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

6 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for takeoff

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on takeoff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for takeoff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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