Simple Definition of startle
: to surprise or frighten (someone) suddenly and usually not seriously
: to move or jump suddenly because something surprises you or frightens you
Examples of startle
I'm sorry that I startled you.
<the lightning startled the children and sent them scurrying for cover>
Origin of startle
Middle English stertlen, frequentative of sterten to start
First Known Use: 1530
Definition of startle
: a sudden mild shock (as of surprise or alarm)
First Known Use of startle
Seen and Heard
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