There are 2 main definitions of launch in English:

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launch 1

Syllabification: launch
Pronunciation: /lôn(t)SH/


[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
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Road ends do not have boat ramps, nor is there sufficient water to launch a boat from a trailer at most road ends.
  • 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.
set afloat, put to sea, put into the water
1.1Set (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
More example sentences
  • The Minister for the Marine will visit the club early next month to officially launch the boat.
  • The celebrity and fundraiser took time out to officially launch a new boat for disabled people at the Sailing Club at the weekend.
  • 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.
1.2Send (a missile, satellite, or spacecraft) on its course or into orbit: they launched two Scud missiles
More example sentences
  • Two months later, although not missile related but even more explosive, the Soviets launched the Sputnik I satellite.
  • That approach would require much more than sending bombers and launching missiles against terrorists already discovered and recorded.
  • They have six weapons tubes, used for launching both torpedoes and missiles, and can dive to depths greater than 300 metres.
send into orbit, blast off, take off, lift off
1.3Hurl (something) forcefully: she launched a tortoiseshell comb
More example sentences
  • But Pujols kept his head down, fully extended his arms and went with the pitch, launching it over the center field wall.
  • Then he takes one giant stride down the pitch and launches the final ball of the over for six over mid-on.
  • In an instant, both guns were firing away, launching a volley of shells at the remaining enemy Genos.
throw, hurl, fling, pitch, lob, let fly;
fire, shoot
informal chuck, heave, sling
1.4 [with adverbial of direction] (launch oneself) (Of a person) make a sudden energetic movement: I launched myself out of bed
More example sentences
  • In a sudden blur of movement she launched herself across the office in my direction.
  • Their coats streamed back in a sudden breeze launching itself through the prison.
  • It is at the roadside vendor's that they energetically launch themselves into some tough wrangling.
1.5Utter (criticism or a threat) vehemently: scores of customers launched a volley of complaints
More example sentences
  • They launch Denial of Service attacks against websites (including ours) on a daily basis.
  • He is always trying to sound reasonable even when he is making outrageous demands and launching threats.
  • Wyatt also wants to introduce a specific offence for launching denial of service attacks, removing a potential grey area in existing laws.
2Start or set in motion (an activity or enterprise): she was launching a campaign against ugly architecture
More example sentences
  • Earlier this year, the Minster authorities launched the Development Campaign.
  • After the poll tax was defeated in 1991 Scottish Militant Labour was launched as an open political party.
  • Congratulations are due to the Scottish business leaders who had the vision and enterprise to launch this project.
set in motion, get going, get underway, start, commence, begin, embark on, initiate, inaugurate, set up, organize, introduce, bring into being
informal kick off, roll out
2.1Introduce (a new product or publication) to the public for the first time: the company has launched a software package specifically for the legal sector
More example sentences
  • A few exhibitors chose to launch their new products at the show.
  • New products will also be launched at these exhibitions.
  • One of the largest companies in the world will be launching a new product in Zambia tomorrow.


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1An act or an instance of launching something: the launch of a new campaign against drinking and driving
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • This followed the launch of these flights in March.
  • We could have sworn that the downloading of music took off with the launch of Napster.
1.1An occasion at which a new product or publication is introduced to the public: a book launch
More example sentences
  • It comes through compèring public functions, product launches, dealer meets and by anchoring programmes in television channels.
  • The on-site events team will ensure that conferences, meetings, product launches and exhibitions run smoothly.
  • Running until Sunday, the festival has a diverse programme of events including lectures, book launches, workshops, debates, symposia, film and art.

Phrasal verbs

launch into
Begin (something) energetically and enthusiastically: he launched into a two-hour sales pitch
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bobby tries to bargain with the audience, and attempts to launch into another song.
start, commence, burst into
launch out
Make a start on a new and challenging enterprise: she wasn’t brave enough to launch out by herself
More example sentences
  • I wouldn't want to discourage them but I would urge caution and a bit of sensible risk assessment before launching out.
  • 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.
  • Almost from the moment we launched out, we were addressing huge crowds in the sugar belt and elsewhere.


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

Words that rhyme with launch

graunch, haunch, paunch, raunch, staunch
Definition of launch in:
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There are 2 main definitions of launch in English:

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launch 2 Syllabification: launch
Pronunciation: /lôn(t)SH/


1A large motorboat, used especially for short trips. Also called motor launch.
Example sentences
  • He returned the salute as the warship gathered speed, picked up her guard of Police escort launches and headed for the open sea.
  • You can tie up your own tender at the dinghy docks or go ashore in one of the harbor launches.
  • Motor-driven launches, powerboats, pedal boats and rowboats are in great demand in the tourist spots of Veli-Akkulam.
1.1 historical The largest boat carried on a man-of-war.


Late 17th century (denoting the longboat of a man-of-war): from Spanish lancha 'pinnace', perhaps from Malay lancharan, from lanchar 'swift, nimble'.

Definition of launch in:
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