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

Under the preferred option, the airfield near Coupeville would have a total of 24,100 takeoffs and landings annually. Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, "Navy releases plan for increased Growler aircraft training on Whidbey Island," 27 June 2018 Two sets of wooden ramps leaned against the sides of the two outermost red-and-black trucks, creating takeoff and landing areas. Shaun Goodwin, kansascity, "How the heck did an Evel Knievel museum wind up in northeast Kansas?," 26 June 2018 The aircraft will also have cameras onboard primarily for takeoff and landing. Author: Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, "Startup plans to revolutionize the air cargo industry, starting with Alaska," 15 June 2018 Other local cities such as Newport Beach and Laguna Beach also have been unhappy with the FAA’s takeoff and landing patterns. Priscella Vega, latimes.com, "Huntington Beach group gives workshop crowd a status report on efforts to alleviate air traffic noise," 14 June 2018 Operators will have 20 days to inspect 737's with engines that have had approximately 30,000 takeoffs and landings. CBS News, "FAA orders inspections of more engines like one in deadly Southwest incident," 20 Apr. 2018 Because of City Airport’s problems, flight operations have steadily declined in recent years, from 45,233 takeoffs and landings in 2014 to 37,264 last year, Federal Aviation Administration data reports show. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Old Detroit City Airport crumbles as city rejects offers of millions," 13 Apr. 2018 The ride-sharing company plans to launch vertical takeoff and landing, or VTOL, vehicles in Los Angeles and Dallas in the next five years. Rob Wile, miamiherald, "Flying cars? One day, they could be landing at this downtown highrise | Miami Herald," 9 Apr. 2018 Its twin Honeywell engines have been tweaked to achieve maximum efficiency, 750 horsepower each on takeoff and an altitude of 35,000 feet where the temperature drops to 76 degrees below zero. Diane Bell, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Adventure seeker plans to fly over both poles in 1983 aircraft," 9 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Baez took off for second during the next at-bat – and ended up scoring. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Things fall apart quickly for Padres in loss to Cubs," 13 July 2018 Bregman took off for first, and after fumbling with the ball for a moment Lucroy threw to first baseman Mark Canha. Jim Reineking, USA TODAY, "Houston Astros get wild walk-off win against Oakland Athletics," 11 July 2018 The two horses took off and HPD could not find them. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "Moped rider hospitalized after hitting 2 horses in overnight north Houston wreck," 8 July 2018 And with the speed of a dog running away with someone else's lunch, the post took off again. Christina Capatides, CBS News, "Dogs steal mail carrier's lunch, then their apology note goes viral," 6 July 2018 This literary trend took off before the referendum, and on the face of it has little in common with Brexit. The Economist, "Brexit is reverberating in British literature," 5 July 2018 Ionashku reportedly took off her high heeled shoes and ran away, taking her cell phone with her, but leaving her vehicle and purse, said trooper spokesperson Megan Peters. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage woman missing in Delta Junction," 4 July 2018 Zamora took off his virtual reality headset and returned to the room of observers at the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation, or CIVS, on the Purdue University Northwest campus in Hammond. Becky Jacobs, Post-Tribune, "Virtual crime scene gives students hands-on training without the risk," 3 July 2018 New York to Montreal Price: $69 This train takes off from New York City and travels the green byways of the Northeast, following the tail of Lake Champlain north for most of the ride. William D’urso, Outside Online, "The Best Way to See the U.S. Is by Train," 1 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

6 Nov 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).


playful or foolish behavior

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