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

Emirates President Tim Clark says that without big planes, the growth of air traffic will be constrained by airports that are reaching their limits for takeoff and landings slots. Robert Wall, WSJ, "The Last 747: Airlines Dump the Jumbo Jet, Transforming International Travel," 29 Dec. 2018 Treat your life like a trampoline, and summon the ultimate belief in both the takeoff and landing. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Weekly Horoscopes Aug 13-19," 11 Aug. 2018 The system reduces variation in takeoff and landing routes, which increases air-traffic efficiency, but also concentrates the noise below the flight paths. Chris Berdik, BostonGlobe.com, "Is Boston getting noisier? This app is designed to help us find out," 15 May 2018 Seattle-Tacoma International Airport temporarily suspended takeoffs and landings Monday morning after visibility was reduced to less than 500 feet. Hannah Rodriguez, The Seattle Times, "Polluted air, fog are back in Puget Sound, but not for long," 23 Oct. 2018 The Marine version of the jet is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings. Jeffrey Collins, Fox News, "New military jet crashes, pilot ejects in S Carolina," 28 Sep. 2018 On April 20, the engine manufacturer CFM International issued a service bulletin calling for inspections of all fan blades on similar engines with at least 20,000 flights, and subsequently after every 3,000 cycles of takeoffs and landings. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "Investigators find two pieces of broken fan blade inside Southwest Airlines engine," 3 May 2018 After an eerily similar engine failure two years ago when another fan blade broke due to metal fatigue, the manufacturer recommended periodic tests to spot signs of fatigue after the engines reach a certain number of takeoffs and landings. Kris Van Cleave, CBS News, "New questions about whether regulators, Southwest acted quickly enough after prior failure," 19 Apr. 2018 The 1,790 parameters captured by the black box have allowed investigators to at least partly reconstruct what had happened during the short flight after takeoff from Jakarta. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "Lion Air Seeks More Details on Boeing Crash," 22 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And with locals residents in the winning cities having little to no say in these deals, grassroots action is poised to take off. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Amazon HQ2 subsidies are deeply unpopular, but far from uncommon," 14 Nov. 2018 Meanwhile, after enjoying several careers myself—the longest one as a magazine editor and writer—my fledgling New Orleans decorating business was just starting to take off. Sara Ruffin Costello, ELLE Decor, "A New Orleans Manse is Given New Life with a Fashionable Pizzazz," 26 Oct. 2018 Nancy and Frank Sinatra had been dating as teenagers and married at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic church in Jersey City, New Jersey, on Feb. 4, 1939, just as Frank's singing career was about to take off. John Rogers, chicagotribune.com, "Nancy Sinatra Sr., first wife of Frank Sinatra, dies at 101," 14 July 2018 Nancy and Frank Sinatra had been dating as teenagers and married at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic church in Jersey City, New Jersey, on Feb. 4, 1939, just as Frank’s singing career was about to take off. John Rogers, BostonGlobe.com, "Nancy Sinatra Sr., first wife of Frank Sinatra, dies at 101," 14 July 2018 Nancy and Frank Sinatra had been dating as teenagers and married at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic church in Jersey City, New Jersey, on Feb. 4, 1939, just as Frank's singing career was about to take off. CBS News, "Nancy Sinatra Sr., Frank Sinatra's first wife, dead at 101," 14 July 2018 Halftime: England Leads, 1-0 The whistle blows for halftime on another blocked Croatia shot, and just as Kane and Sterling try to take off with the loose ball. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Croatia Digs Deeper, Burying England’s World Cup Dreams," 12 July 2018 Schedules vary, but planes tend to take off in clusters, according to the airport — including a cluster of red-eye passenger flights around midnight. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "For some in Anchorage, it’s been the summer of airplane noise. But just wait until next year.," 10 July 2018 The rocket is scheduled to take off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Marco Santana, OrlandoSentinel.com, "SpaceX set to launch 6,000 pounds of science, cargo to International Space Station," 29 June 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

16 Jan 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 \

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

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marked by shyness and lack of polish

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