Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To throw or propel with force; hurl: launch a spear.
  • transitive v. To set or thrust (a self-propelled craft or projectile) in motion: launch a rocket; launch a torpedo.
  • transitive v. Nautical To put (a boat) into the water in readiness for use.
  • transitive v. To set going; initiate: launch a career; launch a business venture.
  • transitive v. To introduce to the public or to a market: launched the new perfume with prime-time commercials on the major networks.
  • transitive v. To give (someone) a start, as in a career or vocation.
  • intransitive v. To begin a new venture or phase; embark: launch forth on a dangerous mission; launched out on her own after college.
  • intransitive v. To enter enthusiastically into something; plunge: launched into a description of the movie.
  • n. The act of launching.
  • n. A large ship's boat.
  • n. A large, open motorboat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To throw, as a lance or dart; to hurl; to let fly; to send off, propel with force.
  • v. To pierce with, or as with, a lance.
  • v. To cause to move or slide from the land into the water; to set afloat.
  • v. To send out; to start (one) on a career; to set going; to give a start to (something); to put in operation.
  • v. To move with force and swiftness like a sliding from the stocks into the water; to plunge; to make a beginning.
  • n. The act of launching.
  • n. The movement of a vessel from land into the water; especially, the sliding on ways from the stocks on which it is built. (Compare: to splash a ship.)
  • n. The boat of the largest size and/or of most importance belonging to a ship of war, and often called the "captain's boat" or "captain's launch".
  • n. A boat used to convey guests to and from a yaucht.
  • n. An open boat of any size powered by steam, naphtha, electricity, or the like. (Compare Spanish lancha.)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To throw, as a lance or dart; to hurl; to let fly.
  • intransitive v. To strike with, or as with, a lance; to pierce.
  • intransitive v. To cause to move or slide from the land into the water; to set afloat.
  • intransitive v. To send out; to start (one) on a career; to set going; to give a start to (something); to put in operation
  • intransitive v. To move with force and swiftness like a sliding from the stocks into the water; to plunge; to make a beginning; ; -- often with out.
  • n. The act of launching.
  • n. The movement of a vessel from land into the water; especially, the sliding on ways from the stocks on which it is built.
  • n. The boat of the largest size belonging to a ship of war; also, an open boat of any size driven by steam, naphtha, electricity, or the like.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To throw or hurl, as a lance; dart; let fly.
  • To pierce or cut with or as with a lance or lancet; lance.
  • To move or cause to slide from the land into the water: as, to launch a ship.
  • To send out into another sphere of duty, another field of activity, or the like: as, to launch one on the world.
  • Naut.:
  • To lower suddenly on the fid (a topmast or topgallantmast which has been swayed up).
  • To move (heavy bodies, as casks, spars, etc.) by pushing.
  • To lay out or plant, as leeks, in trenches.
  • To leap; skip.
  • To move a ship from the land into the water.
  • To move or come into new relations; enter upon a different course or career; make a transition: as, to launch into the world, or into a wide field of discussion: often with out: as, to launch out into extravagant expenditure.
  • n. A sudden leap; a skip.
  • n. The sliding or movement of a boat or vessel from the land into the water; more particularly, the sliding of a newly built ship from the stocks into the water, on ways prepared for the purpose.
  • n. A large boat; specifically, the largest boat carried by a man-of-war, generally sloop-rigged and pulling from sixteen to twenty-two oars. A howitzer can be carried in the bow or the stern.
  • n. A lancing.
  • n. A trap used for taking eels, etc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. set up or found
  • v. begin with vigor
  • v. launch for the first time; launch on a maiden voyage
  • v. propel with force
  • n. a motorboat with an open deck or a half deck
  • v. smoothen the surface of
  • v. get going; give impetus to
  • n. the act of propelling with force

Etymologies

Middle English launchen, from Old North French lancher, from Latin lanceāre, to wield a lance, from lancea, lance; see lance.
Probably alteration (probably influenced by launch1) of Malay lancha.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English launchen ("to throw as a lance"), Old French lanchier, another form (Old Northern French/Norman variant, compare Jèrriais lanchi) of lancier, French lancer, from lance. (Wiktionary)
From Portuguese lancha ("barge, launch"), apparently from Malay lancar ("quick, agile"). Spelling influenced by the verb above. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The label launch will be celebrated with a party from 3-6pm on Thursday, March 19th at GSD&M advertising agency and an official SXSW showcase on Friday, March 20th at Maggie Mae's Gibson room.

    Austin360 - XL Headlines

  • And the centre-piece of the launch is a major new report on Climate Change Impacts in the US.

    Suddenly, the US gets it | Serendipity

  • Hope the launch is a blast and the book sells heaps of copies (I will be promoting it big-time when it comes to NZ later this year). cheers

    Short launch

  • The north also said that any attempt to intercept what it calls the launch of a communications satellite, but what the outside world believes is a long-range missile, would lead to an all-out war.

    CNN Transcript Mar 9, 2009

  • If any one of those particular sensors fail, it's what they call a launch commit criteria violation.

    CNN Transcript Jul 14, 2005

  • As I was able to complete the first half of Zombie Tycoon in an hour or two, I would have preferred to see this title launch at a lower price.

    AskMen.com - HOME PAGE

  • "I am delighted to be launching F1 ROCKS ™ in Singapore and very pleased to have Singapore as our inaugural event and LG Electronics as our title launch sponsor," said Paul Morrison, CEO

    www.hardwarezone.com.sg

  • What I found when pitting the two against each other in launch time is that, while the Mobile Safari took significantly longer to launch from a cold start — that is, after having rebooted my iPhone entirely — it apparently resides in the iPhone’s system memory from that point forward, meaning subsequent launches are nearly instantaneous.

    Browser Speed Tests: iPhone’s Mobile Safari Vs Opera Mini | Lifehacker Australia

  • Live: Unicrons label launch party this week + win tickets Famous Friends are throwing a little bit of a rager to celebrate the label launch of San Francisco-based Futuristic Prince) to help in the fanfare this coming Friday at Glasslands Gallery.

    the culture of me

  • Famous Friends are throwing a little bit of a rager to celebrate the label launch of San Francisco-based Futuristic Prince) to help in the fanfare this coming Friday at Glasslands Gallery.

    the culture of me

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