Definition of take off in US English:

take off

phrasal verb

  • 1(of an aircraft or bird) become airborne.

    • ‘The airline says it had no knowledge of the security breach before the aircraft took off.’
    • ‘This will be used later with a stock shot of an aircraft taking off from the airport.’
    • ‘Any unfound debris on runways could cause damage to aircraft landing and taking off at the airport.’
    • ‘Aircraft taking off from Manchester Airport could have crashed into part of a jumbo jet engine which had fallen on to the runway.’
    • ‘Crowds regularly flocked to the base to see the aircraft take off on one of its many test flights.’
    • ‘British fighter aircraft taking off from West Malling airfield were guided by the terrible orange glow on the horizon.’
    • ‘It worked and the plane's head rose a little bit and the aircraft took off safely.’
    • ‘Coun Brand says the noise is mainly caused by aircraft taking off from the airport.’
    • ‘The local press has played up the danger these birds might pose for aircraft landing and taking off.’
    • ‘The wheels drop off when the aircraft takes off, and the ground crew retrieves them.’
    become airborne, leave the ground, take to the air, take wing
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    1. 1.1 (of an enterprise) become successful or popular.
      ‘the newly launched electronic newspaper has really taken off’
      • ‘The Ferry was a success, and the fledgling company really started to take off.’
      • ‘They were astonished at how the business took off with young Western-born Muslims.’
      • ‘The business really took off by the end of December, with all places now full.’
      • ‘His career took off when he was spotted by an Italian scout playing in a friendly tournament in a Paris park.’
      • ‘Should it ever take off and become wildly popular, you'd be advised to sign up now to avoid MeFi style agony.’
      • ‘As Carlyle's career slowly took off, the couple moved to London, settling in Chelsea.’
      • ‘Their pure fruit smoothie recipes took off, and they've grown steadily since.’
      • ‘Then Hotmail and the like took off and almost everyone started using web-based e-mail.’
      • ‘But as we started to get the traditional boost of people voting on their way home from work it just took off.’
      • ‘We were going to just count the number of nominations we were getting, but as it took off there were too many for us to read them all.’
      succeed, do well, become popular, catch on, progress, prosper, flourish, thrive, boom, turn out well, work, work out
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  • 2Depart hastily.

    ‘the officer took off after his men’
    • ‘He had retrieved it from a rubbish bin but was having little success in taking off with his prize.’
    • ‘The guards were raiding and he took off like an Olympic sprinter, only to come to a sudden halt.’
    • ‘The police were called and on arrival Robinson took off but was stopped soon after, the court heard.’
    • ‘The limousine took off, and the pensioners all moved to one side to let the car through.’
    • ‘His leg was probably broken at this point but he held on as the Mondeo took off at great speed along Worksop Road.’
    • ‘Together they made millions, but when the relationship soured Doherty took off with just a small bag.’
    • ‘A taxi driver was beaten and robbed by three men who then took off in his car.’
    • ‘Sixty-years ago last week, Glenn Miller took off in the fog for Paris and was never seen again.’
    • ‘The very saddest day of both of our lives was on my 18th birthday when my mother took off.’
    • ‘So myself and all my mates all took off for England, and I was to remain there in fact for five years.’
    run away, run off, flee, abscond, take flight, decamp, disappear, leave, go, depart, make off, bolt, make a break for it, make a run for it, take to one's heels, beat a hasty retreat, make a quick exit, make one's getaway, escape, head for the hills
    withdraw, retire, take one's leave, make one's departure, leave, exit, depart, go away, pull out, quit, make oneself scarce
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