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launch1

[lawnch, lahnch] /lɔntʃ, lɑntʃ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to set (a boat or ship) in the water.
2.
to float (a newly constructed boat or ship) usually by allowing to slide down inclined ways into the water.
3.
to send forth, catapult, or release, as a self-propelled vehicle or weapon:
Rockets were launched midway in the battle. The submarine launched its torpedoes and dived rapidly.
4.
to start (a person) on a course, career, etc.
5.
to set going; initiate:
to launch a scheme.
6.
to throw; hurl:
to launch a spear.
7.
to start (a new venture) or promote (a new product):
They launched a new breakfast cereal.
8.
Computers. to start (a software program).
verb (used without object)
9.
to burst out or plunge boldly or directly into action, speech, etc.
10.
to start out or forth; push out or put forth on the water.
noun
11.
the act of launching.
Origin
late Middle English
1300-1350
1300-50; late Middle English launche < Anglo-French lancher < Late Latin lanceāre to wield a lance; see lance1
Related forms
launchable, adjective
unlaunched, adjective
well-launched, adjective
Synonyms
5. inaugurate, institute.

launch2

[lawnch, lahnch] /lɔntʃ, lɑntʃ/
noun
1.
a heavy open or half-decked boat propelled by oars or by an engine.
2.
a large utility boat carried by a warship.
Origin
1690-1700; < Spanish, Portuguese lancha, earlier Portuguese lanchara, first attested in 1515 in an account of boats encountered near the Strait of Malacca; of unclear orig.; neither Malay lancar “swift” nor Rom outcomes of Late Latin lanceāre (see launch1) are fully convincing as sources; modern Malay lanca is < Portuguese
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for launch
  • It's always been my dream to watch a space shuttle launch and, more recently, to take my kids to see one.
  • One of the more special moments in the marathon of launch events is crew walkout.
  • Turn the palm of your throwing hand toward you, then quickly twist your hand outward and up to launch the dough into the air.
  • Such a technicality is unfortunate, given the obvious success of the launch.
  • Commenting is closed on articles published before the launch of the new system.
  • Physicists launch rocket to create the first faux.
  • And at the water's edge, people wait to take a ride on an electric launch.
  • It is difficult to believe that this will be the last space shuttle launch.
  • It's pretty clear that all four missiles didn't launch at the same time.
  • We're pondering what sorts of backyard-food teams to launch next.
British Dictionary definitions for launch

launch1

/lɔːntʃ/
verb
1.
to move (a vessel) into the water
2.
to move (a newly built vessel) into the water for the first time
3.
(transitive)
  1. to start off or set in motion: to launch a scheme
  2. to put (a new product) on the market
4.
(transitive) to propel with force
5.
to involve (oneself) totally and enthusiastically: to launch oneself into work
6.
(transitive) to set (a missile, spacecraft, etc) into motion
7.
(transitive) to catapult (an aircraft), as from the deck of an aircraft carrier
8.
(intransitive) foll by into. to start talking or writing (about): he launched into a story
9.
(intransitive) usually foll by out. to start (out) on a fresh course
10.
(informal) (intransitive) usually foll by out. to spend a lot of money
noun
11.
an act or instance of launching
Word Origin
C14: from Anglo-French lancher, from Late Latin lanceāre to use a lance, hence, to set in motion. See lance

launch2

/lɔːntʃ/
noun
1.
a motor driven boat used chiefly as a transport boat
2.
the largest of the boats of a man-of-war
Word Origin
C17: via Spanish lancha and Portuguese from Malay lancharan boat, from lanchar speed
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
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Word Origin and History for launch
v.

c.1300, "to rush, plunge, leap, start forth; to be set into sudden motion," from Old North French lancher (Old French lancier) "to fling, hurl, throw, cast," from Late Latin lanceare "wield a lance," from Latin lancea "light spear" (see lance). Sense of "set (a boat) afloat" first recorded c.1400, from notion of throwing it out on the water; generalized by 1600 to any sort of beginning. The noun meaning "a leap or a bound" is from mid-15c., from the verb. Meaning "the liftoff of a missile, spacecraft, etc." is from 1935. Launch pad attested from 1960.

n.

"large boat carried on a warship," 1690s, from Portuguese lancha "barge, launch," apparently from Malay lancharan, from lanchar "quick, agile;" English spelling influenced by launch (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for launch

largest of a ship's boats, at one time sloop-rigged and often armed, such as those used in the Mediterranean Sea during the 18th and 19th centuries. Although present-day launches can travel under sail or by oar, most are power-driven. Because of their weight, they are seldom used by merchant ships but are often deployed as armed craft from warships. Launches are capable of carrying large numbers of men and are also useful for transporting anchors, cannons, and other heavy objects.

Learn more about launch with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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