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

And, as usual, SpaceX will perform one of its signature rocket landings after takeoff, touching down on a concrete landing pad near the vehicle’s launch site. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Watch SpaceX launch thousands of pounds of cargo and experiments to the International Space Station," 5 Dec. 2018 The attack helicopter weighs just 12,300 pounds unloaded, with a maximum takeoff weight of 18,500 pounds including crew, fuel, and weapons. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch a Marine Corps Helicopter Lift Another Marine Helicopter," 15 Apr. 2019 Rangers thought a good spot for takeoff into his new life would be the grassy slope atop Wills Mountain at Wills Mountain State Park. Martin Weil, Washington Post, "A once-weakened bald eagle is released four days after the Fourth," 10 July 2018 In 2009, a U.S. Airways plane carrying 155 people encountered a flock of Canadian geese upon takeoff -- birds were sucked into both engines causing them to fail, leaving the jet without power while only a few thousand feet in the air. CBS News, "9 years after "Miracle on the Hudson," FAA proposes new test for engine bird strikes," 6 July 2018 Upon takeoff, Kendricks is a virtuoso in flight, maximizing the kinetic energy of his 16-foot pole and rocketing skyward toward crossbars nearly four feet above. Brian Pinelli, New York Times, "In Pole Vault, Sam Kendricks Is a Team Player," 4 July 2018 Typically, the company’s live streams get started 15 to 20 minutes prior to takeoff. Loren Grush, The Verge, "How to watch four rocket launches on a banner day for the space industry," 18 Dec. 2018 Once in position, the rampers disconnect the tug and the aircraft engines rev as the plane makes its way to a taxiway and runway for takeoff. Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Out on 'the ramp,' minutes count. It's some of the toughest — and most fun — work in the airline business," 14 June 2018 The act is scheduled for a September vote, although it could get cleared for takeoff a little sooner. Christopher Elliott, chicagotribune.com, "New law could make it harder to tell how much your airline tickets cost," 20 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Before Off-White had really taken off, Abloh reached out to the British graphic designer Peter Saville, who’s perhaps best known for creating hauntingly beautiful album covers for Joy Division and New Order. Jonathan Van Meter, Vogue, "“My Job Is To Be a Spirit Leader”: Behind the Scenes with Virgil Abloh," 14 May 2019 Keselowski briefly nudged Logano out of the groove on the sixth lap and took off for the rout that earned him his second Martinsville grandfather clock. Jenna Fryer, The Seattle Times, "Keselowski routs field to earn win at Martinsville Speedway," 24 Mar. 2019 Hawaiian shirts have been slowly making a comeback for years, but as of recent the trend has really been taking off. Charlotte Chilton, Town & Country, "10 Outfits Every Man Should Wear This Summer," 18 Apr. 2019 Callie and Mariana drive off, take off with a U-Haul and drive to downtown LA together. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, ""Good Trouble"'s Cierra Ramirez and Tommy Martinez Get Real About Working With Noah Centineo, Bisexual Representation, and What’s Next for The “Fosters” Spin-Off," 10 Jan. 2019 The #MeToo movement, which social activist Tarana Burke had started in 2006, took off on October 15, when the actress Alyssa Milano told women to share their own Weinstein-like stories. Lyz Lenz, Glamour, "I Wanted to Fall in Love With Men. I Also Wanted Men to Leave Me the Hell Alone," 15 Apr. 2019 In March 2019, the hashtag #GlobalSussexBabyShower took off, which led royal fans all over the world to donate money to charity. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Just Shared a Sweet Update on the #GlobalSussexBabyShower Campaign," 15 Apr. 2019 The new jet, part of a four-plane formation, took off from Misawa air base but then disappeared 85 miles off the Japanese mainland. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Japanese F-35 Reported Missing Over the Pacific Ocean," 9 Apr. 2019 Her career took off after she was crowned the winner of American Idol in 2002 and released her first chart-topping single. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Here's Why Kelly Clarkson Hides Her Grammy Awards in Her Home," 10 Feb. 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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Learn More about takeoff

Statistics for takeoff

Last Updated

8 May 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

Comments on takeoff

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