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kickoff, kick off, kick out

The kickoff which starts a football game or other event is usually spelled as one unhyphenated word.

  • The Nguyens watched every Grey Cup game, from the kickoff to the trophy presentation.

The phrasal verb kick off does not take a hyphen. It can be used as an informal synonym for “begin.”

  • Fireworks normally kick off Ottawa’s Winterlude celebrations.

Kick off is also a synonym for “remove forcibly or officially.” Kick out (which is also unhyphenated) can be used in this sense as well.

  • Zack was kicked off his hockey team because of his violent temper.
  • Jenny and Jody were kicked out of the fast-food restaurant for starting a food fight.