\ ˈstärt How to pronounce start (audio) \
started; starting; starts

Definition of start

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to move suddenly and violently : spring started angrily to his feet
b : to react with a sudden brief involuntary movement started when a shot rang out
2a : to issue with sudden force blood starting from the wound
b : to come into being, activity, or operation when does the movie start the rain started up again
3 : to protrude or seem to protrude eyes starting from their sockets
4 : to become loosened or forced out of place one of the planks has started
5a : to begin a course or journey started toward the door just starting out
b : to range from a specified initial point the rates start at $10
6 : to begin an activity or undertaking especially : to begin work
7 : to be a participant in a game or contest especially : to be in the starting lineup

transitive verb

1 : to cause to leave a place of concealment : flush start a rabbit
2 archaic : startle, alarm
3 : to bring up for consideration or discussion
4 : to bring into being start a rumor
5 : to cause to become loosened or displaced
6 : to begin the use of start a fresh loaf of bread
7a : to cause to move, act, or operate start the motor
b : to cause to enter a game or contest especially : to put in the starting lineup
c : to care for or train during the early stages of growth and development started plants a well-started coonhound
8 : to do or experience the first stages or actions of started studying music at the age of five
start something or less commonly start anything
: to make trouble always trying to start something don't start anything
to start with
1 : at the beginning : initially
2 : in any event



Definition of start (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : a sudden involuntary bodily movement or reaction woke with a start
b : a brief and sudden action or movement
c : a sudden capricious impulse or outburst
2 : a beginning of movement, activity, or development a false start housing starts
4 : a place of beginning
5 : the act or an instance of being a competitor in a race or a member of a starting lineup in a game undefeated in six startsCurrent Biography


\ ˈstärt How to pronounce START (audio) \

Definition of START (Entry 3 of 3)

strategic arms reduction talks

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Choose the Right Synonym for start


begin, commence, start, initiate, inaugurate, usher in mean to take the first step in a course, process, or operation. begin, start, and commence are often interchangeable. begin, opposed to end, is the most general. begin a trip began dancing start, opposed to stop, applies especially to first actions, steps, or stages. the work started slowly commence can be more formal or bookish than begin or start. commence firing commenced a conversation initiate implies taking a first step in a process or series that is to continue. initiated diplomatic contacts inaugurate suggests a beginning of some formality or notion of significance. the discovery of penicillin inaugurated a new era in medicine usher in is somewhat less weighty than inaugurate. ushered in a period of economic decline

Examples of start in a Sentence

Verb They started clearing land for the new housing development. He started studying music at the age of five. As soon as you're ready to play, we'll start. Let's start with some warm-up exercises. He deleted what he wrote and started fresh. Olympic athletes start young and train hard. I started the quilt last month. Have you started your book report? We started the meeting at 6:30. She started the meeting with a brief review of the previous meeting. Noun knew from the start of the game that he would win easily
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Bidding for the four NFTs will start at $1,000 each. Tanya Klich, Forbes, "Dole Teams Up With ‘Hungry Artist’ Who Ate $120,000 Banana At Miami Art Basel 2019 For NFT Collection," 28 Apr. 2021 The second and third rounds start at 7 p.m. April 30, and the final four rounds will begin at noon May 1. Matt Goul, cleveland, "NFL Draft 2021 preview: Everything to know for the Browns, Ohio State and Cleveland," 28 Apr. 2021 Prices start at $34.75 for pillowcases and $97.89 for a bamboo sheet set. Chanel Stitt, Detroit Free Press, "These Detroiters turned their problems into successful businesses," 28 Apr. 2021 Prices start at $99.99 and rise to $199.99 for the 10-inch model. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "Amazon unveils Fire Kids Pro aimed at older kids, updated Fire HD 10," 27 Apr. 2021 At financial services giant State Street Corp., most employees will start coming back in September., "Boston employers are embarking on a grand experiment, by shifting their offices to a hybrid model," 27 Apr. 2021 Plans start at $6 a month (or $60 a year) with ads, and $65 a month with live TV. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Watch The Handmaid's Tale Season 4," 27 Apr. 2021 For example, best-in-class Bose soundbars start at just $249. Maren Estrada, BGR, "Anker’s awesome soundbar with built-in Fire TV and Alexa hit a new all-time low price," 27 Apr. 2021 Sewell would start immediately at right tackle, and along with Taylor Decker and Frank Ragnow would provide solid protection for Jared Goff. Los Angeles Times, "NFL beat writers mock draft: Will it be a historic year for QBs?," 26 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With the failure of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement during the Obama administration and the start of President Trump’s trade war a year later, the decades-long consensus on trade liberalization has come under increasing attack. Ganesh Sitaraman, The New Republic, "The Coming Revolution in the American Economy," 29 Apr. 2021 The rocky start wasn’t a surprise to pitching coach Derek Johnson. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, "Derek Johnson on the Cincinnati Reds' pitching staff: 'It's going to be a process'," 29 Apr. 2021 The combo employed a number of efficiency tricks including engine stop-start, cylinder deactivation, and low-rolling-resistance tires, among others, to earn a rating of 46 mpg in the city and 51 mpg on the highway. Andrew Wendler, Car and Driver, "A Visual History of the Honda Civic," 29 Apr. 2021 The rotation has keyed the Giants' surprising start – their starting pitching leads the majors with a 2.20 ERA. Joe Stiglich, Star Tribune, "Tauchman has 3 hits in SF debut, Giants beat Rockies 7-3," 29 Apr. 2021 The start of the COVID-19 pandemic gave Trump an excuse to shut down the border and have immigrants caught trying to enter the U.S. without authorization expelled quickly into Mexico. Fidel Martinez, Los Angeles Times, "Latinx Files: The cruelty of Biden’s immigration policy," 29 Apr. 2021 Still, many education leaders praised Biden's plan as a major start by U.S. standards., "Biden’s plans to expand free education may be new for America. But in other countries, they’re the norm.," 29 Apr. 2021 Clinton’s first month also included his signing of the Family and Medical Leave Act into law, the start of a debate about service of gays in the military and the creation of a task force on national health care reform, chaired by Hillary Clinton. Robert Speel, The Conversation, "Measuring a president’s first 100 days goes back to the New Deal," 29 Apr. 2021 After a bumpy start to the season thanks to a bone bruise in his knee, Okeke has settled in to become arguably the Magic’s best player. Roy Parry,, "Magic forward Chuma Okeke puts skills on display with one highlight-reel dunk," 29 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'start.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of start


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for start


Middle English sterten; akin to Middle High German sterzen to stand up stiffly, move quickly

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Time Traveler for start

Time Traveler

The first known use of start was before the 12th century

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Statistics for start

Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Start.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for start



English Language Learners Definition of start

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to do the first part of something : to begin doing something
: to begin to work on, produce, or give attention to (something)
: to cause (something) to begin : to cause (something) to begin in a specified way



English Language Learners Definition of start (Entry 2 of 2)

: the time at which something begins
: the first part of an activity, development, event, etc.
: the first opportunity to begin a career


\ ˈstärt How to pronounce start (audio) \
started; starting

Kids Definition of start

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to begin an activity I'm starting a new book.
2 : to come or bring into being or action Who started the rumor? Rain is likely to start soon.
3 : to begin to move toward a particular place or in a particular direction Let's start for home.
4 : to cause to move, act, or operate I'll try to start the motor.
5 : to give a sudden twitch or jerk (as in surprise)
6 : to stick out or seem to stick out Their eyes started from the sockets.



Kids Definition of start (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a sudden twitching or jerking movement a start of surprise
2 : a beginning of movement, action, or development I got an early start.
3 : a brief act, movement, or effort They work by fits and starts.
4 : a place of beginning (as of a race)

More from Merriam-Webster on start

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for start

Nglish: Translation of start for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of start for Arabic Speakers

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