taken off in [the balloon]

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Senior Member
Hello. We usually use verb take off when we talk about clothes. What's the meaning of the verb take off in the sentence below.

"...Branson had taken off in the balloon the day before, planning to land in London's Hyde Park on April 1. However, a wind change had blown him down a day early in the Surrey field..."

Full text is here.
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    From the Word Reference dictionary on "take":
    take off:
    • to remove: [~ + off + object] Take off your coat. [~ + object + off] Take your coat off.
    • [no object] to leave the ground and rise into the air: The plane took off.
    • [no object] to depart; leave: The man took off before we could ask him who he was.
    • to subtract, as a discount;
      deduct: [~ + off + object] The store took off 20 percent. [~ + object + off] taking 20 percent off the price.
    • [no object] to achieve sudden, noticeable growth, etc.: Sales took off just before Christmas.
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