countdown

[kount-doun]
noun
1.
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.
2.
the final preparations made during this period.
3.
a period of increasing activity, tension, or anxiety, as before a deadline.

Origin:
1950–55, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase count down

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To countdown
Collins
World English Dictionary
countdown (ˈkaʊntˌdaʊn)
 
n
1.  the act of counting backwards to time a critical operation exactly, such as the launching of a rocket or the detonation of explosives
 
vb
2.  to count numbers backwards towards zero, esp in timing such a critical operation

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

countdown
1953, Amer.Eng., in early use esp. of launches of rockets or missiles, from count (v.) + down.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Cleared with only seconds left before possibly requiring a scrub, the signal
  was finally given to continue the countdown.
Features an easel display, backlight, and countdown timer.
Preferably it should have a large red countdown timer.
Game in progress: seven turns left on the countdown clock.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;