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

The Miami-to-Nassau flight was grounded just before takeoff in July, authorities said. Rebecca Tan, Anchorage Daily News, "Airline mechanic accused of sabotaging jet navigation system was previously fired by Alaska Airlines for maintenance mistakes," 7 Sep. 2019 Pilots aborted the July 17 flight before takeoff in Miami. Washington Post, "Mechanic charged with sabotaging flight," 7 Sep. 2019 Nine people were killed Sunday when a small plane carrying a group of skydivers crashed shortly after takeoff in Sweden, officials said. Fox News, "Skydiving plane crash in Sweden leaves 9 dead, officials say," 16 July 2019 The helicopter went down shortly after takeoff in the Atlantic Ocean early Thursday near Walker’s Cay, the northernmost island in the Bahamas, BNO News said, citing unspecified U.S. and Bahamian officials. Reuters, The Mercury News, "Chris Cline dies in helicopter crash; self-made billionaire started as coal miner," 5 July 2019 In 2016, American Airlines introduced a new safety video to play on flights before takeoff. Prescotte Stokes Iii, star-telegram, "Toddler hit by oxygen tank on American Airlines flight at DFW Airport | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 8 Apr. 2018 The crash of Ethiopian Airlines Group Flight 302 shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa Sunday raises the specter of previous passenger aircraft that suffered serious problems soon after entry into service. Washington Post, "After Ethiopian Air Crash, 737 Max May Face Global Grounding," 18 Sep. 2019 Here are the takeaways from touchdown to takeoff of the president’s Marine One helicopter. Jeff Barker, baltimoresun.com, "Six takeaways from Trump’s visit to Baltimore," 13 Sep. 2019 As the plane went down the runway and pilots increased power to the engines, there was an error related to the ADM system and the takeoff was aborted. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "American Airlines mechanic accused of attempted sabotage of flight with 150 on board," 9 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The international food scene has also begun to take off recently with a new generation of renowned restaurants and chefs. Vogue, "How Ed Droste Spent Two Wild Weeks in Peru," 14 Sep. 2019 Its largest dose, until it was taken off the market in 2001 amid safety concerns, was a 160 milligram pill. David Armstrong, ProPublica, "Data Touted by OxyContin Maker to Fight Lawsuits Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story," 9 Sep. 2019 If Vanna fell overboard and James tried to save her, he would’ve taken off his favorite hat and thrown the flotation devices into the water. Sara Jean Green, The Seattle Times, "2 friends still missing after empty boat found off Mercer Island with phones, IDs onboard," 7 Sep. 2019 Actually watch your manicurist take off the polish. Elizabeth Denton, Seventeen, "13 Things You Need To Know Before Getting a Gel Manicure," 6 Sep. 2019 The feds said over the weekend that Epstein was taken off a suicide watch on July 29, less than one week after his reported failed suicide attempt. Andrew Cohen, The New Republic, "The Completely Predictable Death of Jeffrey Epstein," 11 Aug. 2019 The theory really began to take off when, on a visit to Paris, Freedman met Ferrara, who was then working at CERN. Philip Ball, Scientific American, "Supergravity Snags Super Award: $3-Million Special Breakthrough Prize," 6 Aug. 2019 You'll be taken off-roading through vineyards in a vintage car by your tour guide, and taken to wineries throughout the region. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Five-Star Hotel Il Salviatino Is Offering an Off-Roading Wine Tour Through the Hills of Tuscany's Chianti Region," 1 Aug. 2019 How to create an international programming success R-Ladies took off slowly. Dan Kopf, Quartz at Work, "How R-Ladies made data science inclusive," 24 July 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

9 Oct 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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