\ 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 Gates will open at 7 p.m., fireworks start at 9:30. Sahi Padmanabhan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4 June 2021 When planted into soil and watered, the seeds start to germinate in about four to five days and will ultimately grow into a small patch of vegetable plants. Dragana Jovanovic, ABC News, 3 June 2021 Drive capacities start at 4TB and go all the way up to 18TB per drive, and can operate in configurations of up to 24 drives in a large NAS array. Jon Martindale, Forbes, 3 June 2021 Thankfully, Amazon is full of similar styles, and prices start at just $23 for one that looks almost exactly like the original. Tess Garcia,, 2 June 2021 Early bird tickets start at $19.99 for a single day and $34.99 for both days, and there is a $2.50 discount for Splendour in the Grass existing IRL ticket holders. Emily Zemler, Rolling Stone, 2 June 2021 Tickets start at $18 and will go up to $20 the day of the event. San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 June 2021 Standard tickets start at $19.10 for children and $32.20 for adults. Jennifer Bradley Franklin, Southern Living, 2 June 2021 The company differentiates its masks, which start at $25 for single orders, with different sizes and styles of loops to hold them in place. Elizabeth Garone, WSJ, 2 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The game will begin at 1 p.m. CT on ESPN3 after originally being announced as a 2 p.m. CT start. Mike Rodak |, al, 4 June 2021 Wiskus, runner-up to Malone for the NCAA all-around crown, overcame a poor start on vault to score 83.350 and remain in the hunt for a podium spot. Rachel Blount, Star Tribune, 3 June 2021 On the backs of a five-run two-out rally in the fourth, a gutsy start from senior Conarie Steinbach and the calm relief of freshman Zachary Harris, Centennial (10-1) beat the Lions 7-5 to claim the Eagles’ first county crown since 2007. Brent Kennedy,, 1 June 2021 This year’s budget writers also spent a bit more -- roughly 3% -- on mental health, including a start on a new state psychiatric hospital for Dallas. Dallas News, 31 May 2021 Monday is seen as the unofficial start to summer and grilling season. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, 31 May 2021 Legislative leaders say the first betting could begin as early as the start of the NFL season on Sept. 9. Kenneth R. Gosselin,, 29 May 2021 Jazz lead Grizzlies 34-22 after first quarter The Utah Jazz got off to a fast start on both ends in the first quarter of Saturday’s Game 3 at FedEx Forum, surging to a 34-22 lead. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, 29 May 2021 As a start, leaders must activate their emotional intelligence, especially when topics surface where widely disparate views are held. Sharon Richmond, Forbes, 28 May 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

5 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Start.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 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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