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 He was removed from the flight before takeoff, but not without incident. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Woman faces $32,750 fine for not wearing mask (and throwing a fit) on a plane," 6 May 2021 The agency also called for a $9,000 fine against a passenger whose noncompliance with the mask mandate in late January caused the Alaska Airlines pilot to turn back to the gate before takeoff. Gregory Wallace, CNN, "FIRST ON CNN: Feds fine unruly and maskless airplane passengers as violent incidents increase," 5 May 2021 And on March 17, three passengers on an American Airlines flight from Fort Lauderdale to Chicago were removed from the plane before takeoff after refusing to wear masks. Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times, "Ruckus in the skies: What happens when airline passengers refuse to wear masks," 5 May 2021 Commercial aircraft might use one runway while cargo haulers use another, in both cases to limit taxi time before takeoff and after landing. Eric Adams, Popular Mechanics, "How to Get Started In Planespotting," 11 Apr. 2021 Aero customers can arrive at the private terminal 30 minutes before takeoff. Meredith Lepore, Travel + Leisure, "This Buzzy New Private Airline Includes White-glove Service, Socially Distanced Seating, and More," 19 Mar. 2021 The report said Kerry was in a first-class seat on American Airlines flight AA2129 from Boston to Washington, D.C., just before takeoff. Daniel Chaitin, Washington Examiner, "John Kerry cries 'malarkey' as American Airlines investigates maskless photo," 17 Mar. 2021 In another incident on Feb. 20, a Boeing 747-400 cargo jet operated by Longtail Aviation suffered a failure with its Pratt & Whitney engine shortly after takeoff from Maastricht in the Netherlands. Eduardo Sanchez, Fortune, "Boeing 777 makes emergency landing in Moscow due to engine trouble," 26 Feb. 2021 The measures come one day after the engine of a Boeing 777-200 failed shortly after takeoff from Denver International Airport, scattering pieces of debris across a half-mile residential area outside Denver. Dallas News, "United Airlines to ground two dozen Boeing 777 planes in wake of engine failure," 22 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The plane failed to leave the ground when trying to take off and then crashed into a Federal Aviation Administration navigational aid, ran through an environmentally sensitive vernal pool and then crashed, spilling 3,400 gallons of fuel, Rubio said. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Crash at Montgomery Field requiring nearly $1M clean-up, emergency cash for airports fund," 20 Apr. 2021 Consumer spending at restaurants, hotels and salons is already starting to take off as the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic eases and more people get vaccinated and draw on their stimulus checks and savings. Sarah Chaney Cambon, WSJ, "Economic Growth Is Set to Surge. Hiring Might Not Keep Up.," 18 Apr. 2021 These limitations will have a disproportionate effect on working-class and Black and brown voters, who may not be able to take off on Election Day and who benefit from broader access to the polls. Maggie Mcgrath, Forbes, "Terri Sewell And The Women Over 50 Raising Their Voices For Voting Rights," 15 Apr. 2021 Ingenuity team should be pretty confident that the tiny helicopter is going to take off and land with relative ease, but there are external factors that can affect how things pan out. Mike Wehner, BGR, "Here’s when you’ll finally be able to see the Mars helicopter fly," 10 Apr. 2021 Overlooking Gillespie County Airport, the second-floor observation deck is a popular spot to enjoy watching planes take off and land. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "The six coolest, most unique Airbnb rentals, trailers, rooms and lodgings to stay in Fredericksburg right now," 2 Apr. 2021 So step into this rocket ship -- and let your mind take off and explore freely. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Ingenuity Mars helicopter to take flight and 5 other top space and science stories this week," 27 Mar. 2021 Regular airplanes as well as vertical take off and landing vehicles could turn electric by using massless batteries. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "The Battery That Will Finally Unlock Massless Energy Storage," 22 Mar. 2021 The purpose isn’t to take off and track the dog down (a formidable task), but rather to just know there are coyotes working the area. Toby Walrath, Outdoor Life, "Coyote Nation: A Crash Course in Coyote Hunting," 25 Jan. 2021

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

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Takeoff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/takeoff. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on takeoff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for takeoff

Nglish: Translation of takeoff for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about takeoff

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