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


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

Passengers boarded Alaska nonstop flight 1367 from Boston to Los Angeles on Saturday at 6 p.m., and waited almost two hours on the ground before takeoff in an uncomfortably hot cabin. Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times, "Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to a 30-hour nightmare for passengers," 8 Jan. 2019 Liftoff is scheduled for 11:37AM ET, and Arianespace should have a live stream on its YouTube channel before takeoff. Loren Grush, The Verge, "How to watch four rocket launches on a banner day for the space industry," 18 Dec. 2018 Today’s mission, dubbed NROL-71, is slated for takeoff at 11:19PM ET / 8:19PM PT out of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Stay up late to watch ULA launch a secret satellite with its most powerful rocket," 7 Dec. 2018 According to Aviation Week and Bloomberg News, a static test (non-flying) version of the F-35B—the Marine Corps' vertical takeoff and landing version—has developed multiple structural cracks during durability testing. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Some F-35s Could Become Unflyable by 2026," 1 Feb. 2019 Both the Lagonda Vision Concept electric car and Volante Vision Concept, an Aston Martin vertical takeoff and landing concept, was shown on a lit stage. Tamara Warren, The Verge, "Monterey Car Week is where the past and future of automobiles collide," 29 Aug. 2018 The company has landed exclusive deals for vertical takeoff and landing spots with real estate companies, including in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Daisuke Wakabayashi, New York Times, "Flying Taxis May Be Years Away, but the Groundwork Is Accelerating," 27 Feb. 2018 If an engine fails on one of the company’s 777 jetliners at the moment of takeoff—generally considered the riskiest part of any plane trip—computers are designed to handle everything. Robert Wall, WSJ, "Man Vs. Machine at 40,000 Feet," 6 Jan. 2019 Again, the captain’s control column began shaking, a stall warning, at the moment of takeoff. Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times, "Lion Air pilots struggled against Boeing’s 737 MAX flight-control system, black-box data shows," 27 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

German authorities confirmed that Mounir el Motassadeq was aboard a plane that had taken off from Frankfurt airport in the evening. David Rising, The Seattle Times, "Germany deports convicted 9/11 accomplice home to Morocco," 15 Oct. 2018 The site features a large glass box that contains panels inscribed with the names of the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 11, which both took off from the airport. Architectural Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, "Powerful September 11 Memorials Around the World," 11 Sep. 2018 Police officers in the area saw what was going on and went after the suspect vehicle, which took off. Christine Dempsey, courant.com, "East Hartford PD: Two Chases In Three Hours, Three Arrests," 25 June 2018 The tech has already taken off in peer cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. John Greenfield, Chicago Reader, "Cycling / News / Transportation Electric scooters could be next to clog Chicago’s sidewalks and bike lanes," 25 June 2018 Fedorov's cosmism lives on in contemporary transhumanism, which took off in Russia in the early aughts. Laura Mallonee, WIRED, "The Mystics Seeking Eternal Life Through Liquid Nitrogen," 22 June 2018 Monday marks the inaugural flight of an electric two-seater plane, which will take off from Oslo Airport with the country’s transport minister as a passenger. Sveinung Sleire, Bloomberg.com, "Tesla-Loving Norway Wants to Be a Pioneer in Electric Planes," 17 June 2018 PayPal, meanwhile, has taken off, with its shares rising 134% since the split. Laura Stevens, WSJ, "Starboard, Elliott Management Call on eBay to Shed StubHub, Classifieds," 22 Jan. 2019 But over the past ten years, thanks to a couple of major successes, things have really taken off between the two camps, and the masses have responded with an enthusiasm that has made publishers of both industries sit up and take notice. Michael Thompson, Ars Technica, "Drawn together: The love affair between comics and games," 24 Dec. 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

13 Mar 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

What made you want to look up takeoff? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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