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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The app provides information about weather hazards like turbulence, lightning or hail that’s more accurate and easier to interpret than pilots used to be able to get after takeoff, said Tom Staigle, Delta’s chief technical pilot. Lauren Zumbach, chicagotribune.com, "From birthday wishes for passengers to tracking baggage handler injuries, airlines tap big data to try to improve operations," 12 July 2018 On a conventional airline flight, passengers feel the sensation of being pushed back in their seats for about a minute or so during and shortly after takeoff. Denise Chow /, NBC News, "Boeing's planned hypersonic airliner could fly from NYC to London in two hours," 28 June 2018 Orlando Executive Airport spokeswoman Carolyn Fennell tells the Orlando Sentinel that the plane failed to gain sufficient airspeed after takeoff. Fox News, "Plane takes off, falls into ditch at Florida airport," 26 June 2018 At the time of Troy's death, a preliminary incident report by the NTSB cited engine trouble that occurred shortly after takeoff. Taylor Weatherby, Billboard, "Troy Gentry's Wife Sues Helicopter Manufacturer For 'Dangerous Defects Which Caused' Fatal Crash," 22 Feb. 2018 Last September, a Saratov Airlines An-148 had one of its engines shut down minutes after takeoff, but landed safely. kansascity, "Workers find both data recorders at Russian plane crash site | The Kansas City Star," 12 Feb. 2018 Transportation officials recommend explaining sounds — engines throttling up for takeoff, the thump of landing gear, the roar of reverse thrusters after touchdown — and that occasional patches of bumpy air are no cause for concern. Kay Manning, chicagotribune.com, "Considering having a child fly solo? Here's what to know," 29 June 2018 Immediately after takeoff, the drivers retracted the landing gear and switched on the autopilot; the three airplanes turned eastward and climbed at a gentle 3,000 feet a minute, doing a relatively sedate 320 miles an hour. William Langewiesche, The Atlantic, "An Extraordinarily Expensive Way to Fight ISIS," 21 June 2018 However at least one takeoff — a Delta Airlines flight — was delayed as the runway was closed for a short time so the plane could be moved. Doug Phillips, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Plane skids off runway in Key West," 12 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The game has taken off so much that some have claimed addictions. Scott Springer, Cincinnati.com, "Fortnite and high school athletes: Moeller, New Richmond coaches face off in debate.," 11 July 2018 After six seasons of fairly solid ratings, especially for a show that aired on Friday night, Last Man Standing was taken off the air. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "How ‘Last Man Standing’ Went From Hit Sitcom, to Canceled, to Revived For Its Seventh Season," 11 July 2018 With a potential star under center in Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco’s offense could take off this season. Michael Beller, SI.com, "High-Risk, High-Reward Players for the 2018 Fantasy Football Season," 10 July 2018 The idea of an aerial tramway has been proposed several times over the years but has never taken off. Chris Irvine, Fox News, "Warner Bros. proposes solution to Hollywood sign tourist traffic with $100 million aerial tramway," 10 July 2018 Why can't the jets land over the city and take off over the water instead of the other way around? Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "Readers had lots of questions about airplane noise from the airport’s runway closure. Here are some answers.," 10 July 2018 Last year, 1,938 of 8,182 trucks inspected (23.6 percent) were taken off the road for safety violations, according to DPS records. Gordon Dickson, star-telegram, "How safe is that 18-wheeler you just passed on the highway? You might be surprised," 9 July 2018 Notably by the way, some consumer favorite items like flat screen TVs were taken off the tariff list after public outcry. NBC News, "Meet the Press - July 8, 2018," 8 July 2018 If you are attached, the two of you often take off for a day out together or a weekend alone. BostonGlobe.com, "Horoscope," 7 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.

See More

First Known Use of takeoff


1833, in the meaning defined at sense 3a


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about takeoff

Statistics for takeoff

Last Updated

28 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for takeoff

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


by word of mouth

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!