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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 ?
The JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul's rooftop bar, the Griffin, presents a luxury countdown party featuring a performance by social entertainer Jeremy Park, The Griffin's bartenders and chefs will serve a special menu of diverse cocktails, wine and cuisine.
In this study, which used a green signal countdown timer, or GSCT, in Oregon State's driving simulator, the clock counted down the final 10 seconds of a green indication.
In theory, vehicular countdown signals are different compared to non-countdown signals and should have an impact on driving psychologies and behaviors.
James has run the Countdown competition several times in Huddersfield but this year's 38-strong entry was the biggest yet.
Since launching the original website in November 2012, Creative Countdown immediately experienced tremendous success among customers seeking a unique way to Savor The Suspense[R] of any upcoming event, such as a wedding, birth of a child, retirement, vacation or graduation.
"Fans of the 'American Country Countdown' are some of the most loyal and passionate fans around, so it's a natural next step to bring that popular brand to television," said Simon Andreae, Executive Vice President of Alternative Entertainment for FOX.
Countdown's maths genius Rachel Riley has told how her husband set up fake emails to vote for her in a lads' mag poll to find the world's sexiest women.
Canada Countdown: How to Immigrate to Canada is available online as an E-book.
WHY COUNTDOWN ADDS UP FOR NICK IT'S the most puzzling conundrum in the history of Countdown.
Image Glamorous boffin Best Known for Doing the sums on Countdown Early Life Born in Bedford in 1960, to a Welsh mother and a Dutch father, but raised in Prestatyn after her parents split when she was just a baby.
"Countdown to War in Georgia: Russia's Foreign Policy and Media Coverage of the Conflict in South Ossetia and Abkhazia" is a look at this former Soviet state's problems and conflicts since the dissolution of the Soviet Union nearly twenty years ago.
A countdown timer can be activated with the push of a button countdown to the start of the regatta.
The C818FS is a combined infrared surface temperature scanner and probe thermometer with an integrated countdown timer, which makes it the ideal choice for production line checks or for monitoring cooking and cooling intervals.
to 2 p.m., visitors can participate in a "countdown to midnight" with balloons, music, confetti and a glittering ball drop.
The history of the American countdown harkens back 100 years to our national New Year's Eve celebration.