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


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

The proposed mark seems to be a takeoff on West’s weekly Sunday Service concerts/church services, which feature choral arrangements of popular songs (including West’s) and regularly attract high-profile guests. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "Kanye West Files Trademark Application for 'Sunday Service' Merchandise," 24 July 2019 The aircraft collided with the ground after takeoff from Dillingham Airfield in Mokuleia on June 21. Kristin Lam, USA TODAY, "Skydiving company behind deadly Hawaii plane crash lacked proper permits, documents show," 11 July 2019 Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed soon after takeoff outside Addis Ababa on March 10, killing all 157 people aboard. Alison Sider, WSJ, "Boeing Looks to Settle 737 MAX Crash Claims," 27 June 2019 SpaceX will also be live-streaming, starting about 20 minutes before takeoff. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Why the third launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket has the highest stakes yet," 24 June 2019 JetSuiteX boasts that passengers can arrive as little as 20 minutes before takeoff. Melissa Yeager, azcentral, "$79 to fly on a private jet? JetSuiteX offers flights from Phoenix to Vegas, California," 5 June 2019 However on both accident flights, the angle-of-attack sensor failure set off multiple alerts causing distraction and confusion from the moment of takeoff, even before MCAS kicked in. Anchorage Daily News, "The inside story of MCAS: How Boeing’s 737 MAX system gained power and lost safeguards," 13 Mar. 2019 In mid-October, a MH-60 Seahawk also belonging to the Ronald Reagan crashed off the Philippine Sea shortly after takeoff, causing non-fatal injuries to a dozen sailors. Mari Yamaguchi, The Seattle Times, "5 missing Marines declared dead in warplanes crash off Japan," 11 Dec. 2018 Now there are others like vertical takeoffs, Boring Company, going down, under, going up ... Eric Johnson, Recode, "Grab wants to go way beyond ride-hailing in Asia, co-founder Hooi Ling Tan says," 1 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Epstein was placed on suicide watch last month but then taken off within about a week, a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity told The Washington Post. Anchorage Daily News, "What’s known and what’s next after Jeffrey Epstein’s death," 11 Aug. 2019 His product had bindings and other features that Poppen’s design did not, and sales took off. Richard Sandomir, BostonGlobe.com, "Sherm Poppen, 89, who fathered the snowboard," 11 Aug. 2019 The balloons soared over the Clifton Suspension Bridge following take off on Thursday. Georgia Slater, PEOPLE.com, "Darth Vader Hot Air Balloon Floats Over British City — and Mark Hamill Loves It," 9 Aug. 2019 Not knowing where his wife was at the time and scared Eide was trying to find and kill her, the resident took off after him with the knife. Sarah Horner, Twin Cities, "Man stabbed by resident after allegedly breaking into St. Paul home is charged with burglary, assault," 9 Aug. 2019 At some point during the chase, the rider ditched his motorcycle and took off running. Karen Kucher, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Driver arrested after wild chase through three counties; man suspected of taking several vehicles," 5 Aug. 2019 In a real game, Stafford is sacked and the Lions are in fourth-and-long, or maybe takes off scrambling for his life. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions training camp observations: 2-minute offense, defense need work," 5 Aug. 2019 The air horn sounds, the rope drops and all those arms and legs take off at once in to the Caribbean Sea for a one-mile swim race. Lori Nickel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Chin Up: Swimmer survives cancer - thanks in part to being fit - then conquers the water," 4 Aug. 2019 When an officer arrived, Brensnock was seen hurriedly walking toward his Dodge Ram 1500 pickup and taking off. Wayne K. Roustan, sun-sentinel.com, "Man accused of setting ex-girlfriend’s $20K boat ablaze," 2 Aug. 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

14 Aug 2019

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 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

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

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