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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of takeoff in a Sentence

Noun Please remain seated during takeoff. Air Force One, you're ready for takeoff. All the high jumpers had flawless takeoffs. Verb 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 ship could also accommodate the MQ-8A Fire Scout unmanned aircraft as well as future vertical takeoff and landing drones. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Navy Looks To Europe for Its Next-Gen Frigate," 5 May 2020 The airline previously said Flight 89 to Shanghai had an engine problem after takeoff and needed to quickly return to Los Angeles International Airport. Bloomberg.com, "California Teachers Sue After Jetliner Dumps Fuel on Schools," 5 May 2020 Not only is the skier at risk of serious injury or death if the takeoff and landing aren’t smooth, there’s the chance of triggering an avalanche onto the roadway below, imperiling unsuspecting motorists. Gregory Thomas, SFChronicle.com, "Ski-jumping over Highway 50? Here’s how Josh Daiek did it," 8 Feb. 2020 The European Commission is close to approving a suspension of airport-slot rules that would allow airlines to cut back capacity without risking the loss of lucrative takeoff and landing rights, according to people familiar with the matter. Benjamin Katz, WSJ, "Europe Set to Lift Airport Slot Rules to Ease Pressure on Airlines From Virus," 10 Mar. 2020 Just because the amount of impact on landings and takeoffs. Lori Nickel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Less than 5 months after ankle surgery, Canadian gymnast Ellie Black makes a strong comeback in Milwaukee," 7 Mar. 2020 Roybal said all takeoffs and landings are typically stopped for a few minutes while Air Force One arrives and departs. azcentral, "Trump rally updates: What is the history of the coliseum?," 19 Feb. 2020 The airport currently has about 2,000 takeoffs and landings a year from private aircraft and houses the maintenance operations for Kalitta Air, which is based in Ypsilanti. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan wants to become next site for space launch facility," 18 Feb. 2020 According to Federal Aviation Administration statistics, Birmingham-Shuttlesworth had 104,847 takeoffs and landings in 2019. al, "Come fly to me: Gulf Shores looks to expand airport, drive tourism," 8 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In it, two jets can be seen taking off and flying side-by-side before one of them veers into the sky and spirals toward the ground seconds later. Carlin Becker, Washington Examiner, "At least 1 dead after Canadian military jet saluting front-line coronavirus workers crashes," 17 May 2020 Uber recently announced plans to shutter its Grubhub rival Uber Eats in seven countries where the service has failed to take off. Washington Post, "The Technology 202: Remote work could be here to stay for some tech workers," 12 May 2020 The flight is scheduled to take off at 1:45 p.m. Saturday from Ellington Field in southeast Harris County. Roy Kent, Houston Chronicle, "Flight to the Finish Flyover slated for Sunday over Houston region," 8 May 2020 At almost every photo shoot, I’d be asked to take off my shirt. Beth Rodden, Outside Online, "Climbing's Send-at-All-Costs Culture Almost Ruined Me," 2 May 2020 The driver of the vehicle slowed down and then proceeded to take off on foot from the vehicle during the traffic stop, according to a news release. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Veteran Oakland County sheriff's deputy charged in pregnant teen's shooting," 1 May 2020 Make sure to take off any nail polish, avoid using on cold fingers, and sit still. Leah Groth, Health.com, "Pulse Oximeters May Be Helpful For People With COVID-19—Here's What to Know Before You Buy One," 28 Apr. 2020 The company also says that the user interface to enable launch mode has been simplified and that the process the driver has to complete to actually take off is more straightforward. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Tesla Claims More Power for Model S, X, Plus Cheetah Launch Mode," 11 Apr. 2020 Video released by the ministry showed the cargo plane loaded with boxes preparing to take off from a military airbase near Moscow early Wednesday morning. CBS News, "Putin sends military plane to U.S. with supplies to fight coronavirus after talking with Trump," 1 Apr. 2020

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

Time Traveler for takeoff

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for takeoff

Last Updated

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Takeoff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/takeoff. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for takeoff


How to pronounce take off (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on takeoff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for takeoff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!