1

start

verb \ ˈstärt \
Updated on: 10 Dec 2017

Definition of start

intransitive verb
1 a : 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
2 a : 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
5 a : 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
7 a : 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

Examples of start in a Sentence

  1. They started clearing land for the new housing development.

  2. He started studying music at the age of five.

  3. As soon as you're ready to play, we'll start.

  4. Let's start with some warm-up exercises.

  5. He deleted what he wrote and started fresh.

  6. Olympic athletes start young and train hard.

  7. I started the quilt last month.

  8. Have you started your book report?

  9. We started the meeting at 6:30.

  10. She started the meeting with a brief review of the previous meeting.

Recent Examples of start from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of start

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

start Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of 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

2

start

noun

Definition of start

1 a : 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 starts
  • Current Biography

Examples of start in a Sentence

  1. knew from the start of the game that he would win easily

Recent Examples of start from the Web

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.

First Known Use of start

14th century


START

abbreviation

Definition of START

strategic arms reduction talks

START Defined for English Language Learners

start

verb

Definition of start for English Language Learners

  • : 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


start

noun

Definition of start for English Language Learners

  • : the time at which something begins

  • : the first part of an activity, development, event, etc.

  • : the first opportunity to begin a career


START Defined for Kids

1

start

verb \ ˈstärt \

Definition of start for Students

started; starting
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.

2

start

noun

Definition of start for Students

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)


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