count down

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count down

1. verb To count backwards from any number to zero in preparation for something (which typically happens when the countdown reaches zero). Everyone counted down the seconds and then shouted, "Happy New Year!"
2. verb By extension, to wait for something impatiently. At this point, I'm counting down the days to my due date because I'm so sick of being pregnant!
3. noun The act of counting backwards from any number to zero in preparation for something (which typically happens when the countdown reaches zero). When used as a noun, the phrase is usually written as one word. At the end of the countdown, everyone shouted, "Happy New Year!"
See also: count, down

count down

to count backwards to an event that will start when zero is reached. The project manager was counting down—getting ready for the launch of the rocket. I can still hear the captain counting down: "Five, four, three, two, one, zero, blast off!"
See also: count, down

count down

1. Count backward from any number to zero to indicate time, as in The final seconds before take off were counted down: 10, 9, 8, etc. The down in this term refers to the decreasing size of the numbers. This usage originated in connection with the firing of missiles and spacecraft and has since been broadened to such events as the roll call of states at a political convention. [c. 1950]
2. Make final preparations for an event, as in Hong Kong was counting down to the day when it became part of mainland China. This usage is derived from def. 1. [Late 1950s]
See also: count, down

count down

v.
1. To count backward to zero, especially when leading to the start of an important event: With only ten seconds until midnight, the crowd counted down to the beginning of the new year.
2. To anticipate something eagerly: The children are counting down to their summer vacation.
See also: count, down
References in periodicals archive ?
A spokeswoman for the ITV1 show said: "Today they will begin counting down to the moment when they will have to give up all the trappings of fame and celebrity.
The site -- with information and photos from the movie and about XPS products -- is active now and counting down to when the preview will be available.
Well, yes we do because we are still counting down the days until the wedding that may or may not happen.
The government has long been irked by Stern, who's so elated about the move that his Web site is counting down the time left on his contract with Infinity Broadcasting.
This will be my 10th season with Ferrari and I'm counting down the hours to getting back behind the wheel for the first test.
The club was prepared to erect a sign in the outfield counting down his chase for 500 homers.
The combination of a huge purse and the amazing setting for the finals at the World Trade Center in Holland has the gamers and fans already counting down the days to the September 16 & 17
We are counting down to the Primetime Emmy Awards, and while 'Mad Men' has been hogging all the trophies lately, we've got two words for you this year: 'Breaking Bad'.
EFI (Nasdaq:EFII), the world leader in digital imaging and print management solutions for commercial and enterprise printing, is counting down to the fifth annual Connect users' conference, taking place June 27-30th at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
We are counting down to the Emmys, and host Jimmy Kimmel is amping up the anticipation.
With barbecue enthusiasts eagerly counting down to National Barbecue Month in May, Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar today introduced its new Honey BBQ Baby Backs in all of its nearly 1,600 restaurants across the country.
At work, the male band members sport dark suits, with the intense, bearded Carruthers counting down the tunes and adding some of the most sizzling and well-placed fretwork in town.