Kick off vs. kickoff (vs. kick-off)

In American and Canadian publications, kickoff is a noun and an adjective, and kick off is its corresponding phrasal verb. For instance, it is one word in “the kickoff time is noon” and “you missed the kickoff” because it is an adjective in the first example and a noun in the second. And it is two words in “the kicker is ready to kick off” because here it functions as a verb.

The same distinction applies outside North America, but the noun/adjective is usually hyphenated—kick-off.


In the kickoff to a thriller series for young adults, Julie Cross introduces time traveler Jackson Meyer. [Los Angeles Times]

Things kick off with 2001’s MGS2, less a sequel than a postmodern meta-commentary on the game that preceded it. [Guardian]

[I]t represents the kick-off point for a much-improved business year that will see several other new and facelifted Peugeot models arrive. [Taranaki Daily News]

City officials said as many as 10,000 people attended the event, which was meant to kick off a series of similar demonstrations across the country. [New York Times]

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