: to start or cause (something) to start in a specified way
He started off by introducing himself. She started off (her run) at a slow jog. The performance started off badly.
—often + with I started off my speech with a joke.We started off the meal with shrimp cocktails.The team started the season off with a 10-game winning streak.
: to have a specified quality, identity, job, etc., at the start
She started off as a sales assistant but is now the marketing director.
: to begin an important period in one's life or career
The house is perfect for a couple just starting off.
: to begin to move toward a particular place or in a particular direction
She ate breakfast before starting off for work.
: to cause (someone) to begin doing a particular activity or action
He started his daughter off on the piano. The game-show host started her off with some easy questions.
Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!