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


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

Pilots in the first plane were unaware of the new system and the plane crashed into the sea a little over 10 minutes after takeoff. Tripti Lahiri, Quartz, "The emergency fix for the grounded Boeing Max needs its own software fix," 26 June 2019 The plane crashed shortly after takeoff Friday at a small airfield used by skydivers and the U.S. Army. baltimoresun.com, "Marylander was among 11 who died in Hawaii crash; safety agency calls for tighter skydiving flight rules," 25 June 2019 Federal officials have said the plane crashed shortly after takeoff. Washington Post, "The Latest: Colorado couple among those on Hawaii flight," 24 June 2019 Eleven Cubesats will be deployed from the dispenser between 19 and 50 minutes after takeoff. William Harwood, CBS News, "SpaceX Falcon Heavy poised for dramatic night launch," 24 June 2019 After takeoff, SpaceX will attempt to land its rocket on a landing pad next to the vehicle’s launch site. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Watch SpaceX launch and land its Falcon 9 rocket on the California coast," 12 June 2019 Miami After takeoff, the Boeing 737 suddenly warns pilots that the plane is about to lose lift and stall, an erroneous signal from a bad sensor. Scott Mccartney, WSJ, "Inside the Effort to Fix the Troubled Boeing 737 MAX," 5 June 2019 Hours after takeoff, peepers were still glued to pixels by the thousands, replaying Hart’s thunderous dunk on mobile devices across the city (now nearly 24,000 views). Aaron Carter, https://www.inquirer.com, "Jalen Roberts and JayDoeFilms among many videographers on the Philly high school sports scene," 5 June 2019 Both flights crashed minutes after takeoff when an automated safety feature known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) was triggered erroneously, sending each aircraft into a fatal nosedive. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Boeing Takes Responsibility For Both 737 Max 8 Crashes and Apologizes," 4 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In recent days, 13 migrants were taken off Sea-Watch 3 for medical reasons and taken to Italy. Washington Post, "Migrants step off German aid ship after captain defies Italy," 29 June 2019 As a part of a deal with federal prosecutors, the death penalty was taken off the table. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "Prosecutors seek life sentence for James Fields Jr. in Charlottesville car attack that killed Heather Heyer," 28 June 2019 After several days in a coma, she was eventually taken off a ventilator once her health improved. Fox News, "Argentinian teen wakes from coma after falling ill in Dominican Republic," 28 June 2019 Lacking in offense with time running short, forward Valérie Gauvin was taken off in favor of Delphine Cascarino's fresher legs. Thom Craver, CBS News, "Women's World Cup: U.S. defeats France, 2-1," 28 June 2019 That paper was eventually taken off the market, but was sold to Tribune Publishing Co. in 2017 for $1 and the assumption of debt and pension liabilities. Lukas I. Alpert, WSJ, "Billionaire Castimatidis Buys Conservative AM Radio Station," 27 June 2019 Those projects could also be taken off the list through partnerships in which a private sector group, such as a friends group, makes repairs. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "County and city infrastructure backlogs portend tough decisions, Wisconsin Policy Forum report says," 27 June 2019 Late in his work life, he’s been taken off salary and put back on commission, like a beginner. Daryl H. Miller, latimes.com, "Rob Morrow ages up to portray Willy Loman in ‘Death of a Salesman’," 26 June 2019 They were taken off at most Wendy's locations in March 2017. Sarah Horne, Cincinnati.com, "Wendy's lovers will be reunited with their spicy chicken nuggets thanks to Chance the Rapper," 25 June 2019

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

3 Jul 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

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