\ 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 The game clock reportedly didn’t start on time, giving Gregory time to launch the shot, and the referees left the court with little deliberation. Matt Nevala, Anchorage Daily News, "Lumen Christi dominates to force a running clock and leave no doubt who’s No. 1 in Class 1A boys basketball," 4 Apr. 2021 The 2019 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, who entered the game leading the offense in goals with 15, did not start at attack for the first time this season and was replaced by senior Luke Shilling (one goal and one assist). Edward Lee,, "Slide continues for Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse in program’s first loss to Michigan, 13-10," 4 Apr. 2021 Like many of her peers, Wright says her outrage does not start with Floyd’s death and will not end with Chauvin’s trial. Washington Post, "Shaped by Black Lives Matter, Gen Z watches Chauvin trial with cynicism and urgency: ‘What’s next?’," 3 Apr. 2021 But chips won’t start coming out of any new factories built as part of the spending splurge for two to three years., "What consumers need to know about the computer chip shortage," 2 Apr. 2021 The alternate training camp at Fifth Third Field will be utilized through April because the Triple-A season doesn't start until May 4. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers reveal alternate training site, minor-league camp rosters: Who's going where," 2 Apr. 2021 Calloway said due to the North Olmsted City Schools spending the majority of the year in either remote or hybrid learning, the counselors couldn’t start KISS until the district recently returned all-in. John Benson, cleveland, "North Olmsted High School support group helping students cope with pandemic anxiety," 1 Apr. 2021 Pinder’s presence means Stephen Piscotty will not start Opening Night. Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, "A's Chad Pinder draws Opening Night start in right field," 1 Apr. 2021 Homer Drew said a key in the his son’s first deal was that the six-year 26-page contract wouldn’t start ticking down until after the NCAA penalties had finished. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "How Scott Drew’s sincerity, adaptability brought Baylor from rock bottom to Final Four 18 years later," 1 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Texas start-up OnwardMobility will license the BlackBerry brand for a new device expected this year that will run on Android and tout the trademark physical keyboard. Washington Post, "LG is getting out of the smartphone business it helped pioneer," 5 Apr. 2021 In the first quarter of this year, there were 131 shootings, marking the most violent start to a year since 2017., "Chicago to release video of deadly police shooting of a 13-year-old," 5 Apr. 2021 What’s different in Buffalo Grove’s 3-0 start, at least in the eyes of senior linebacker Tommy Dierbach, is the fact that periods of uneven play haven’t derailed the finished product. Steve Reaven,, "Football notes: Defensive lineman AJ Romero makes immediate impact in first games in Nazareth uniform," 5 Apr. 2021 Reds pitcher José De León, a former top-30 prospect, will make his first MLB start since 2016. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, "Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates: José De León to make first start since 2016 in opener," 5 Apr. 2021 It’s the start of a hugely sensitive operation playing out in one of the largest prison systems in the country. Los Angeles Times, "California prisons grapple with hundreds of transgender inmates requesting new housing," 5 Apr. 2021 Shohei Ohtani's historic start Sunday night started with a bang. Jim Reineking, USA TODAY, "Shohei Ohtani hits home run in historic start for Los Angeles Angels vs. Chicago White Sox," 5 Apr. 2021 Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet was asked prior to the start of the Arizona-Anaheim Ducks game Sunday night if there's more of an emphasis on health and safety among his team, given the situation in Canada. Jose M. Romero, The Arizona Republic, "As COVID ravages another NHL team, Coyotes managing virus control well," 5 Apr. 2021 With the arrival of Easter today, the ending of Passover this evening and the start of Ramadan next week, consider this a primer. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Food for the soul: Traditional culinary rituals and symbols at the core of religious holidays," 4 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

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Start.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 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)

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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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