countdown

[ kount-doun ]
/ ˈkaʊntˌdaʊn /

noun

the backward counting in fixed time units from the initiation of a project, as a rocket launching, with the moment of firing designated as zero.
the final preparations made during this period.
a period of increasing activity, tension, or anxiety, as before a deadline.

Origin of countdown

1950–55, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase count down
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for countdown

British Dictionary definitions for countdown

countdown

/ (ˈkaʊntˌdaʊn) /

noun

the act of counting backwards to time a critical operation exactly, such as the launching of a rocket or the detonation of explosives

verb count down (intr, adverb)

to count numbers backwards towards zero, esp in timing such a critical operation
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for countdown

countdown


n.

1953, American English, in early use especially of launches of rockets or missiles, from count (v.) + down.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper