Definition of countdown in English:

countdown

noun

  • 1[usually in singular] An act of counting numerals in reverse order to zero, especially to time the last seconds before the launching of a rocket or missile.

    ‘the launch crews would begin their final countdown’
    • ‘To follow the launch countdown and the post-launch events watch the live webcam from the mission control room and follow our simplified launch status table in the attached link.’
    • ‘Once the countdown reached zero the cart began to move, accelerating rather rapidly.’
    • ‘So far he's been seen baiting the crowd with false information, and leading them in a countdown from 10 to zero for no apparent reason.’
    • ‘Dr. Kraft worked to develop the countdown, launch, and flight procedures, as well as the design of Mission Control itself at the Cape and later in Houston.’
    • ‘The computer beeped a countdown from five to zero, and wooden spheres appeared and swooped down to try to hit the user.’
    • ‘Initial data analysis performed last night showed that the countdown, engine ignition and initial phase of flight were normal.’
    • ‘The US space agency NASA began its countdown Saturday for tomorrow's rescheduled launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery.’
    • ‘As the countdown reached zero he fully squeezed the trigger.’
    • ‘Everyone leaned forward in anticipation as the final countdown began.’
    • ‘A series of meetings will take place Thursday to discuss the problem and determine the steps necessary to get back into the launch countdown.’
    • ‘The countdown was stopped when a problem was detected in the computer dialogue between the control center and the launcher.’
    • ‘All the while, we watch as a nuclear bomb starts a countdown to zero.’
    • ‘When all of these steps have been completed, a complete dress rehearsal of the final days of the countdown and liftoff is conducted.’
    • ‘In Florida today, NASA beginning its countdown for the first space shuttle launch since the Columbia disaster more than two years ago.’
    • ‘When I surfaced, I heard the countdown beginning from ten.’
    • ‘The eleven o'clock ‘off’ from the City Hall came quickly and with the countdown from ten to zero, the Santas were on their way.’
    • ‘Any pre-launch irregularities noted during a countdown can cause a launch to be aborted.’
    • ‘The countdown has begun for Atlantis to lift off Thursday.’
    • ‘The mental countdown continued in his head: four, three, two, one.’
    • ‘From behind me Ben shouted out a countdown, and then began his eight beat introduction.’
    • ‘More and more of a crowd began to enter the room, stuffing the whole area and turning it into a claustrophobic matchbox as the final countdown began.’
    • ‘The countdown will resume at the beginning of next week.’
    1. 1.1The final moments before a significant event and the procedures carried out during this time.
      ‘it is hard to imagine the countdown to war continuing without an intensification of diplomacy’
      • ‘He was forced to redraft this advice as the countdown to war continued.’
      • ‘The countdown has begun for the launch of the latest reality TV show from Endemol, the makers of Big Brother, and this really could be the one to end them all.’
      • ‘Cycling is a sport obsessed with numbers and as the countdown to next year's Commonwealth Games gathers momentum, such figures come into sharper focus.’
      • ‘With just 12 weeks to go until the Oscars, the Los Angeles Film Critics' Association awards mark the start of the countdown to the showpiece event.’
      • ‘This should serve as a timely warning to all as the countdown to Hallowe'en continues.’
      • ‘As the countdown to war continues Britain can be expected to contribute at least 12,000 troops as well as RAF, Navy and Special Forces units.’
      • ‘The White House stood shrouded in weekend quiet, but the countdown to war was continuing.’
      • ‘We are fast approaching the countdown to our big event.’
      • ‘The final countdown has begun for the release of the latest instalment in the adventures of storybook wizard Harry Potter.’
      • ‘The countdown has started for teachers from around the United States striving to become permanent members of NASA's Astronaut Corps.’
      • ‘With the holiday period drawing to a close, for many today will be their final 24 hours free from the toils of labour, before a return to work and the seemingly perpetual countdown to the summer holiday.’
      • ‘Living as I do in mainland Europe, every day of the past few months has been a countdown to the Euro.’
      • ‘A convoy of lorries was seen heading towards B - 52 bombers at RAF Fairford yesterday as the countdown to war in Iraq entered its final hours.’
      • ‘Libraries across North Wiltshire will resound with festive cheer in the countdown to Christmas with a series of special events for children.’
      • ‘In the countdown to Christmas a host of events are planned, including a new Children's Fair from November 18 to 20 in and around Parliament Street.’
      • ‘While people are taking to the streets in unprecedented numbers, the countdown to war is inexorably proceeding.’
      • ‘But, as the countdown to a possible war continues, the views of a politician who argues against war, under any circumstances, provide a different perspective on the debate.’
      • ‘So in the final countdown, how are they doing, and how are their support crews of officials and friends helping out with last minute preparations?’
      • ‘But there's a lot of pressure at the moment with the countdown to this UN deadline, also to try and resolve the issue of peacekeepers as well.’
      • ‘In the countdown to war, the aluminium tubes remained in the political spotlight and the fight between the US intelligence agencies was now on in earnest.’
    2. 1.2A digital display that counts down.
      • ‘Chris was standing with Chrissy on his arm, both of them watching the large digital countdown clock, which read five minutes.’
      • ‘The best is a digital countdown timer, but any watch or one-minute hand timer will do.’
      • ‘I will never employ any device with a digital countdown.’
      • ‘Recently, the impregnable force field surrounding this device began to display a countdown clock that suggested it would deliver its message at noon yesterday.’
      • ‘Everybody was waiting: a digital clock overhead marked the minutes, repeated the countdown from 15 to the moment of decision.’
      • ‘A countdown is displayed over the grenade, and you see the exact trajectory it will take.’
      • ‘To commemorate the closing of Veterans Stadium, the Phillies are displaying a countdown banner on the out field wall that shows how many home games remain.’
      • ‘I notice a digital countdown projected below the Napoleon-guy: 1.69, and quickly descending.’
      • ‘A computer monitor ran a countdown silently, reading ‘3: 40,’ and was dropping fast.’
      • ‘A clock now marks the countdown to the one-year anniversary.’
      • ‘The countdown on the screen was now at twenty seconds.’
      • ‘After her first attempt to crack the code failed (she guessed it), the countdown appeared on the clock's display.’
      • ‘Allison smiled as she watched the five-minute countdown activate on the monitor.’
      • ‘He pressed the command conformation key, but the countdown didn't cease to stop.’

Pronunciation:

countdown

/ˈkoun(t)doun/