What is a walk-off in sports?

A score that instantly wins a game

In sports, a walk-off is when a player (or team) scores, instantly defeating their opponent. While people may use it in various sports, they most often use it in baseball when the home team scores one or more runs in the last inning of the game to win.

For example, a player for the home team may hit a two-run home run HR in the bottom of the ninth inning to put his team ahead and end the game. When reacting to the play, announcers, fans, and players may yell, "He just hit a walk-off!" Baseball walk-offs may also be hits other than HRs, walks (e.g., BBs), errors, etc., that score game-ending runs.

Other sports where walk-offs happen include American football and hockey, often in sudden-death overtime periods where the next score wins. For example, a kicker may hit a walk-off field goal, or a winger may score a golden goal in overtime.

Origin of walk-off

The slang term "walk-off" originated from MLB pitcher Dennis Eckersley when he described a gigantic game-winning HR where he didn't even need to see if the ball went over the fence; he just walked off the field. The first documented instance dates back to July 30, 1988, when Eckersley initially referred to a game-winning home run as a "walk-off piece" (later shortened to "walk-off").


did you see the twins walk-off last night?
no. what happened?
correa hit a mammoth walk-off in the 11th

The Pirates celebrating a walk-off

Related Slang


Updated February 6, 2024

Walk-off definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the slang term "Walk-off" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

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