Main definitions of launch in English

: launch1launch2

launch1

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Set (a boat) in motion by pushing it or allowing it to roll into the water.

    ‘the town's lifeboat was launched to rescue the fishermen’
    • ‘The borough council wants to build the slipway on the Hangings to allow the fire and rescue service to launch its boat into the Avon as near as possible to the junction with the Severn.’
    • ‘He said the group had no immediate plans to launch another boat toward the disputed waters.’
    • ‘Both Whitby's lifeboats had to be launched to rescue five canoeists who put out to sea in a force nine gale on Saturday.’
    • ‘Strong northerly winds caused a half-metre drop from expected water levels, which meant it was not safe to launch the vessel, experts said.’
    • ‘The ferry stopped, launched a boat and picked them up - they had paddled 14 miles across the Channel - at 7am.’
    • ‘Road ends do not have boat ramps, nor is there sufficient water to launch a boat from a trailer at most road ends.’
    • ‘Fire and rescue services were alerted and an inflatable boat was launched.’
    • ‘Could it be that there are no places to launch boats into our river?’
    • ‘The speed and the angle of sinking made it extremely difficult to launch the life boats and the first one that did get into the water spilled its occupants into the sea.’
    • ‘I would like to know then if I would be allowed to launch my boat in the harbour and leave my car there for safe keeping as I had to buy my licence for my boat at Portnet.’
    • ‘At first light on Saturday, three boats were launched, searching the river from the bridge as far away as Levitstown, four miles downstream.’
    • ‘Everyone scattered as some fetched the remains of the food from the kitchen and others launched the boats into the water quickly in readiness.’
    • ‘They launched the inshore boat and hovercraft to rescue the un-named man with scores of day-trippers, enjoying the sun and seaside, looking on.’
    • ‘Scouts on watch spotted the diver and kept visual contact while other scouts and adult leaders launched a small boat to rescue the diver.’
    • ‘If you're looking for a place to launch your boat, I know just the place.’
    • ‘It means there are now only limited places along the coastline to launch boats, windsurfers or water bikes.’
    • ‘On Thursday we arrived and were told we couldn't launch boats for a rescue because the local governments were saying the military was taking over.’
    • ‘They are expected to have the capacity to launch speed vessels and allow helicopters to operate from their decks.’
    • ‘The boats are launched from a slipway into the island's precarious harbour, steered through lulls in the surf and out to passing ships to trade or to load freight.’
    • ‘Colleagues who saw the incident from the shore launched a rescue boat and pulled Miss Brown on board.’
    set afloat, float
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Set (a newly built ship or boat) afloat for the first time, typically as part of an official ceremony.
      ‘King Gustav II Adolph of Sweden launched a huge new warship’
      • ‘Where the banks of the Clyde once teemed with forests of shipbuilding cranes, launching huge vessels into the river every week, only ghosts remain of this once world-beating industry.’
      • ‘This ship was launched in 1937, saw considerable action in the Mediterranean, and was also ultimately responsible for the sinking of the Bismarck.’
      • ‘The Minister for the Marine will visit the club early next month to officially launch the boat.’
      • ‘The new purpose built vessel was officially launched to serve the Zeebrugge - Waterford route.’
      • ‘The new purpose-built vessel was officially launched on Monday week last to serve the Rotterdam to Waterford route.’
      • ‘The ship was launched in 1843 and was the first screw driven iron ship to cross the Atlantic.’
      • ‘He joked: ‘George launched a ship in Belfast and it was three miles out at sea before he let go of the bottle.’’
      • ‘The other vessel involved was the newly launched steamship Chanticleer, which had been undertaking sea trials at the measured mile at Skelmorlie.’
      • ‘The celebrity and fundraiser took time out to officially launch a new boat for disabled people at the Sailing Club at the weekend.’
      • ‘It was a gift from a visiting Greek shipping tycoon who had just launched a new ship called Inca.’
      • ‘It was officially launched at a ceremony at Skipton Castle on Tuesday.’
      • ‘The Queen Mother had a long association with the HMS Ark Royal, having launched the ship in 1981 as well as the previous ship of the same name in 1950.’
      • ‘Two European-owned companies plan to launch new ships this year as well.’
      • ‘‘We installed this just before Christmas and the ship will be launched in April,’ he said.’
      • ‘Fincantieri were awarded the contract for the Etna in July 1995, and the ship was launched in July 1997.’
    2. 1.2 Send (a missile, satellite, or spacecraft) on its course or into orbit.
      ‘they launched two Scud missiles’
      • ‘Cruise missiles were launched at the wrong targets.’
      • ‘A traditional chemical rocket would launch the spacecraft out of Earth orbit.’
      • ‘Even before a single missile has been launched there has been significant collateral damage, all of it on our own side.’
      • ‘They plan to launch the satellites on decommissioned Russian missiles.’
      • ‘In 1957, the USSR launched the Sputnik, the first artificial earth satellite.’
      • ‘That approach would require much more than sending bombers and launching missiles against terrorists already discovered and recorded.’
      • ‘In the course of the Desert Storm war he launched missiles against Saudi Arabia and Israel.’
      • ‘The radar's job is to figure out which is the real warhead, so that missile interceptors can be launched to try to stop them.’
      • ‘The space race reaches new lands when the Russian Space Agency launches Nigeria's first satellite.’
      • ‘The missile can also be launched immediately without tracking when an unexpected target appears.’
      • ‘A space launch vehicle to launch satellites is different than a ballistic missile.’
      • ‘As aircraft weapons came along, they were supposed to fire them, release bombs and later launch missiles.’
      • ‘A space war, in which each nation launches its own missile destroying satellites, could be thwarted by a bucket of gravel, according to a report submitted to the United Nations.’
      • ‘They have six weapons tubes, used for launching both torpedoes and missiles, and can dive to depths greater than 300 metres.’
      • ‘Look, if we saw a nuclear weapon on a missile about to be launched at us, I don't think anybody would disagree, we would have the right to destroy it.’
      • ‘Like rockets, a missile can be launched from a single tube or from multiple tubes.’
      • ‘Two months later, although not missile related but even more explosive, the Soviets launched the Sputnik I satellite.’
      • ‘Of course, the U.S. will remain opposed to India launching satellites that have American parts.’
      • ‘Does each decoy need to be launched separately, or can warheads and decoys all be launched on a single missile?’
      • ‘The missile can be launched from a mobile launcher and takes about eleven minutes to reach its target.’
      send into orbit, put into orbit
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 Hurl (something) forcefully.
      ‘she launched a tortoiseshell comb’
      • ‘In an instant, both guns were firing away, launching a volley of shells at the remaining enemy Genos.’
      • ‘Then he takes one giant stride down the pitch and launches the final ball of the over for six over mid-on.’
      • ‘But Pujols kept his head down, fully extended his arms and went with the pitch, launching it over the center field wall.’
      throw, hurl, fling, pitch, lob, toss, cast, let fly, propel, project
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4launch oneselfwith adverbial of direction (of a person) make a sudden energetic movement.
      ‘I launched myself out of bed’
      • ‘His opponent, a year or two older but still barely a teenager, winces and, fighting back tears of humiliation, launches himself in a flurry of wheeling punches.’
      • ‘Then I switch hands again, pull back ever so briefly and then launch myself forwards, pushing him back into the floor as we swap positions.’
      • ‘She launched herself at him, pushing a surprised Adam back into the snow and landing on top of him.’
      • ‘She had turned from the mirror, eyes glistening with tears, and launched herself into his arms.’
      • ‘I declare this a lifetime top-ten paddle even before a sea lion launches itself onto a rock and poses, head straight up.’
      • ‘Caitlin launched herself at him - a sudden spinning kick knocking him backwards.’
      • ‘In a sudden blur of movement she launched herself across the office in my direction.’
      • ‘As I opened the door, Meg the sheepdog puppy rushed in past me, and launched herself at him with maximum possible excitement at finding him.’
      • ‘Their coats streamed back in a sudden breeze launching itself through the prison.’
      • ‘The woman pushed Bill aside, her movements a blur as she launched herself at the dark figure.’
      • ‘He lifted his legs above his torso and pushed swiftly away, launching himself onto his feet.’
      • ‘It is at the roadside vendor's that they energetically launch themselves into some tough wrangling.’
      • ‘I launched myself at him, pushing him against the wall and pinning him there with my fists against his chest.’
      • ‘Though just under five feet tall and about five and a half stones in weight, she had no second thoughts about launching herself at the considerably heftier intruder.’
      • ‘Finally, as half-time approached, Glass almost broke the deadlock with a 25-yard shot that had Marshall launching himself across the goal to save.’
      • ‘Sudden anger boiled up from her and she launched herself at the man.’
    5. 1.5 Utter (criticism or a threat) vehemently.
      ‘scores of customers launched a volley of complaints’
      • ‘With the Chinese New Year approaching, migrant workers across China are launching protests to demand the payment of outstanding wages.’
      • ‘He launched a frenzied personal attack on the economist, criticising everything from his economics to his politics.’
      • ‘Wyatt also wants to introduce a specific offence for launching denial of service attacks, removing a potential grey area in existing laws.’
      • ‘He launched an immediate counter attack by accusing his leader of over reacting.’
      • ‘The scenario is plausible as a way of launching denial of service attacks preventing the internal operations of a firm.’
      • ‘He went on to launch a characteristically scathing attack on the newspaper, and on the eyewitness testimonies of the night in question.’
      • ‘Ahead of the inauguration, the state media launched new attacks against him in a bid to influence his speech.’
      • ‘He is always trying to sound reasonable even when he is making outrageous demands and launching threats.’
      • ‘They launch Denial of Service attacks against websites (including ours) on a daily basis.’
      • ‘The answer included the launching of various legal challenges and the creation of an anglophone lobby group.’
  • 2Start or set in motion (an activity or enterprise)

    ‘she was launching a campaign against ugly architecture’
    • ‘A left challenge to New Labour was launched at a vibrant convention of the left in the Brent East constituency last week.’
    • ‘Tenants and local community activists also held a public meeting on the Thursday night to launch the Campaign For A No Vote.’
    • ‘She and her colleagues launched the project a few days ago and it's really taken off.’
    • ‘The Commonwealth Youth Program has agreed to make available a sum of £20,000 to launch a Youth Enterprise Development Fund.’
    • ‘This week I launched the Making Good Decisions programme for councillors and commissioners.’
    • ‘But at the same time he added that he could not succumb to anybody's criticism when it comes to launching developmental activities with his own funds.’
    • ‘After the poll tax was defeated in 1991 Scottish Militant Labour was launched as an open political party.’
    • ‘So I knocked off an incredibly quick webpage launching the Campaign For Better Namesakes.’
    • ‘He's begun by launching an emotive advertising campaign.’
    • ‘Earlier this year, the Minster authorities launched the Development Campaign.’
    • ‘Nor could he use it as collateral to raise a loan to develop it, or to launch an alternative enterprise.’
    • ‘Congratulations are due to the Scottish business leaders who had the vision and enterprise to launch this project.’
    • ‘The Buy a Brick Campaign was launched to coincide with the start of building work on the hospice site, and was a simple and practical way for supporters to contribute to the appeal.’
    • ‘The Yorkshire Project was launched in 1999 with the aim of re-establishing a wild population of the birds in northern England.’
    • ‘Within hours of its passage, media reform activists were talking about launching a campaign to have other cities do the same.’
    • ‘But what about a person who opts out of his area of learning to launch an enterprise suited to his taste?’
    • ‘The director said the institute has launched a pioneer project to support the organic farming of crops, fruits, vegetables, and herbs.’
    • ‘Unicef, Plan and other organisations launched a campaign last June to create awareness of the importance of birth registration.’
    • ‘He said Martin wanted to launch campaigns to ‘bring some common sense and decency’ into the British legal system.’
    • ‘Anti-abortion activists launched a petition campaign on January 22 in a bid to overturn the veto.’
    introduce, organize, start, begin, embark on, usher in, initiate, put in place, instigate, institute, inaugurate, set up, bring out, open, get under way, set in motion, get going
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Introduce (a new product or publication) to the public for the first time.
      ‘the company has launched a software package specifically for the legal sector’
      • ‘One of the largest companies in the world will be launching a new product in Zambia tomorrow.’
      • ‘New products will also be launched at these exhibitions.’
      • ‘Point two, should a company have to consult all minority, victim support and disability groups to make sure that are not about to cause offence to anyone before launching a product?’
      • ‘We acknowledge that we have chosen an unfortunate time to launch this new product.’
      • ‘A few exhibitors chose to launch their new products at the show.’
      • ‘Some companies have also launched new products at the fair, the Chief Executive of Innovative Trade Fairs pointed out.’
      • ‘Steve is now looking forward to launching his product in Croydon after its success in Brighton.’
      • ‘We do limited press, depending on when we are launching a new product.’
      • ‘How a product is launched is an important issue.’
      • ‘The publication was launched with members of the Green Party at London's City Hall this week.’
      • ‘The firm, which makes home security storage systems, is launching a new product at this year's Chelsea Flower Show.’
      • ‘As it happens I will be launching a new product soon that includes some of these elements.’
      • ‘Today, the association was launching a publication called Reinventing the Town Hall, which includes the results of the competitions at the four authorities and the startling findings.’
      • ‘The firm launched its product at the end of last year, and already has dozens of customers.’

noun

  • 1An act or instance of launching something.

    ‘the launch of a new campaign against drinking and driving’
    • ‘The exercises saw successful missile launches, artillery firing and torpedo runs.’
    • ‘The airline on Tuesday also announced the launch of a three-times-a-week flight on the Amsterdam-Hyderabad sector from the same day.’
    • ‘The launch of flights between Singapore and Jakarta, which has been stalled since May amid air traffic wrangles, is now scheduled for the end of this month.’
    • ‘Have great flights and safe launches and landings!’
    • ‘The formal launch of the campaign on October 5 showed the determination of all candidates to reach every possible voter.’
    • ‘This followed the launch of these flights in March.’
    • ‘The technicians were putting in place the final details relating to Monday's scheduled rocket launch.’
    • ‘An existing satellite system designed to detect and track ballistic missile launches is currently being upgraded.’
    • ‘Since its launch at the beginning of last year, the column has never fallen off the top three ‘most read’ pages of the paper.’
    • ‘We could have sworn that the downloading of music took off with the launch of Napster.’
    • ‘It is the driver who controls the launch, flight and decent by adjusting the speed and direction of the jeep.’
    • ‘The following day saw the launch of flights to Nakhon Ratchasima, priced from a mere 450 baht.’
    • ‘They want to mandate at least three useful views of any space shuttle launch.’
    • ‘In their view, one year's delay in launch, for instance, would not damage the business opportunity irreparably.’
    • ‘The new magazine will come out with 50,000 copies together with the launch of the new instant messaging service.’
    • ‘Today's launch comes less than two weeks after the company announced plans to axe 3000 jobs.’
    • ‘A total of 20 flight demonstration launches were conducted from a ground platform.’
    • ‘All the hard work of the previous day is now paying off as they make clean launches with straight flights and stand up landings.’
    • ‘The company had pushed its launch date from March to the end of June.’
    • ‘The next big step in our effort to conquer space was the launch of the space shuttle in 1981.’
    1. 1.1 An occasion at which a new product or publication is introduced to the public.
      ‘a book launch’
      • ‘The book launch and lecture are happening on November 25 at 8pm.’
      • ‘The boat is available for receptions, gala dinners, product launches and business breakfasts.’
      • ‘Product launch and program management is becoming an increasingly critical element of supplier competitiveness.’
      • ‘The occasion also marked the official launch of a new book on Admiral Brown.’
      • ‘Another effective strategy of communications is inviting not only the dealers but also customers to special events and new product launches.’
      • ‘The on-site events team will ensure that conferences, meetings, product launches and exhibitions run smoothly.’
      • ‘It comes through compèring public functions, product launches, dealer meets and by anchoring programmes in television channels.’
      • ‘Running until Sunday, the festival has a diverse programme of events including lectures, book launches, workshops, debates, symposia, film and art.’
      • ‘More often than not, one of the keys to a successful product launch is surprise and first mover advantage.’
      • ‘The versatile space makes it an excellent choice of venue for conferences, meetings, product launches, functions and events.’
      • ‘It will be open to the public and is also available for corporate entertainment and product launches.’
      • ‘During the day, the venue will be used for product launches and wedding receptions.’
      • ‘His wife Ann attended yesterday's launch with her two sons and daughter.’
      • ‘Tim was happy to sign copies of his book for those who attended his book launch.’
      • ‘It makes 1m a year from renting out the galleries for conferences, drinks parties, dinners and product launches.’
      • ‘Officials from businesses, local hospital trusts and academia attended yesterday's launch.’
      • ‘The launch of this new publication will take place at the conference room of the NIC building on the Waterfront, at 7 pm this evening.’
      • ‘I'm about to head off to a launch party for an Oxford play.’
      • ‘The award includes publication and launch of his book at next year's Writers' Week in Listowel.’
      • ‘How do you get that many journalists to take time out and attend your product launch?’

Phrasal Verbs

  • launch into

    • Begin (something) energetically and enthusiastically.

      ‘he launched into a two-hour sales pitch’
      • ‘I began the session by launching into a familiar tirade regarding a series of patterns that I just can't seem to break out of.’
      • ‘I mean, I'm thinking maybe people shouldn't be taking risks, launching into risky strategies with their own family home?’
      • ‘As soon as a visitor countered them, the actors responded by launching into (what was supposed to be) an intellectual discussion on art.’
      • ‘Bobby tries to bargain with the audience, and attempts to launch into another song.’
      • ‘As you follow it along the street you begin to hear the cheeps and trills of other birds launching into a discordant chorus.’
      • ‘There's no point to my launching into a spiel about fees, hours of availability, et cetera, if the caller already knows all that.’
      • ‘As I did, Simon began to stir from his long sleep, bouncing back in time for us to launch into our next attempt to save his life.’
      • ‘The title song begins with a conch blaring and the bass drum launching into its rhythm.’
      • ‘‘Bonjour Madame,’ she says, launching into an incomprehensible monologue.’
      • ‘The other two, one of whom is startlingly pretty, launch into an genial explanation of why I should give them some money.’
      start, burst into, break into, begin, embark on, get going on
      View synonyms
  • launch out

    • Make a start on a new and challenging enterprise.

      ‘she wasn't brave enough to launch out by herself’
      • ‘The company learnt this lesson and used it as a leverage when they launched out on their own.’
      • ‘I wouldn't want to discourage them but I would urge caution and a bit of sensible risk assessment before launching out.’
      • ‘The Irish wine market is entering a mature phase with a broad, confident consumer base now launching out on its own to explore and engage with smaller and more specialist wines.’
      • ‘Likewise, seamen in the life of faith, let us launch out into the deep, and find that all things are possible with God, and all things are possible unto him that believeth.’
      • ‘Almost from the moment we launched out, we were addressing huge crowds in the sugar belt and elsewhere.’
      • ‘On Sunday the group had launched out on a publicity campaign in the surrounding communities.’
      • ‘We watched the news for hours, looking in vain for the kind of information that would let two people like us decide whether to launch out on a personal mission to evacuate people.’
      • ‘I thought it might have been some banker, you know, coming to settle my affairs of state before I get launched out of this Sphere.’
      • ‘Even now the working class is far from responding to the betrayal it has suffered at the hands of Labour by launching out on a new and genuinely socialist path.’
      • ‘He is a frequent, well read and provocative poster at this and other blogs, and has now launched out in his own right and started a solo blog.’
      start, burst into, break into, begin, embark on, get going on
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘hurl a missile, discharge with force’): from Anglo-Norman French launcher, variant of Old French lancier (see lance).

Pronunciation

Main definitions of launch in English

: launch1launch2

launch2

noun

  • 1A large motorboat, used especially for short trips.

    Also called motor launch
    • ‘He returned the salute as the warship gathered speed, picked up her guard of Police escort launches and headed for the open sea.’
    • ‘Ahead of the convoys were processions of mine sweepers, Coast Guard cutters, buoy-layers and motor launches.’
    • ‘The launches moved to intercept but were no match for the smaller craft, which was loaded with explosives.’
    • ‘They were joined by high-speed launches from the Thames police marine support unit.’
    • ‘Managing to escape detection, they went aboard a Thai police motor launch.’
    • ‘Ten minutes ago two attack helicopters peeled off overhead, circling London in tight formation and I could see police launches on the Thames.’
    • ‘I decided to man the launch and left my shipmate to finish the starboard tire-without supervision.’
    • ‘The company has a fleet of 15-feet motor boats for hire, plus electric launches and a day-hire sailing boat.’
    • ‘The launch would do the trips in quite heavy seas and cancellations for bad weather were rare.’
    • ‘Your launch trip gives you a thirty minute visit.’
    • ‘Part of the group rode in two support motor launches.’
    • ‘When the council last advertised it said suitable candidates must have between ten and 15 rowing boats, a motor launch, a river boom and be suitable qualified in life saving.’
    • ‘They are used by wealthy individuals who have a fleet of expensive cars to protect them from bad weather and other damage, and also by a string of car manufacturers for motor launches.’
    • ‘Motor-driven launches, powerboats, pedal boats and rowboats are in great demand in the tourist spots of Veli-Akkulam.’
    • ‘On May 22 I joined a small group from the American Museum of Natural History in a motor launch at Niantic, Connecticut.’
    • ‘You can tie up your own tender at the dinghy docks or go ashore in one of the harbor launches.’
    • ‘They come in with motor launches at the dead of night.’
    • ‘She spent more than five hours in the cold waters of Gare Loch, concealing herself from police launches and searchlights and penetrating the floating barrier surrounding the berth.’
    • ‘The Corps also purchased a motor launch and put her to work for the Fort Peck District.’
    • ‘During this time, they have launched hundreds of boats ranging from 20-foot steam launches to 40-foot schooners.’
    1. 1.1historical The largest boat carried on a man-of-war.

Origin

Late 17th century: from Spanish lancha ‘pinnace’, perhaps from Malay lancharan, from lanchar ‘swift, nimble’.

Pronunciation