start·er | \ˈstär-tər \

Definition of starter 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person who initiates or sets going: such as

a : an official who gives the signal to begin a race

b : one who dispatches vehicles

2a : one that engages in a competition especially : a member of a starting lineup

b : one that begins to engage in an activity or process

3 : one that causes something to begin operating: such as

a : a device for starting an engine especially : an electric motor used to start an internal combustion engine

b : material containing microorganisms (such as yeast) used to induce a desired fermentation

4 : something that is the beginning of a process, activity, or series especially : appetizer

for starters

: to begin with



Definition of starter (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or being an item acquired with the expectation that a more elaborate or sophisticated model will be acquired in the future a starter home

Examples of starter in a Sentence


The team is playing only five regular starters. The car's starter needs to be replaced.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But Biyombo was highly unlikely to earn playing time behind the Magic’s incumbent starter, Nikola Vucevic, and the Magic’s heralded rookie, Mo Bamba. Josh Robbins,, "Magic likely done adding through free agency this summer, Weltman says," 10 July 2018 And Nvidia, a late starter in the GPU space, previously mowed down all of it many competitors in the 1990s. Andy Patrizio, Ars Technica, "The AI revolution has spawned a new chips arms race," 9 July 2018 The Angels’ starter, Deck McGuire, is making his first start for Los Angeles, and his first start since 2017 with the Cincinnati Reds. The Baltimore Sun,, "Orioles on deck: What to watch Sunday vs. Angels, plus lineups, broadcast info and more," 1 July 2018 Similar depth can’t be replicated, and the drop off at times from starters to second- or third-string players is just too steep. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: 5 burning questions facing IU football in 2018," 12 July 2018 The victory also marked their league-leading eighth walkoff win of the year and their first victory against a left-handed starter this month. Kerry Crowley, sacbee, "Buster Posey has hip pain, but he has Giants feeling good in walkoff win over Cubs," 11 July 2018 Of course, the Yankees could get even in the nightcap against rookie starter Yefry Ramírez, but that wouldn’t really change the fact that the Orioles are quietly having a real impact on the AL East race. Peter Schmuck,, "Far out of the pennant race, Orioles still might have a say in who wins it," 10 July 2018 Thanks to a brilliant outing from starter Trevor Bauer, the Indians took a 4-0 lead over the Cincinnati Reds into the ninth. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Indians' bizarre bullpen gaffe leads to epic Reds comeback in ninth," 10 July 2018 And if all that wasn’t enough, Nola drove in the Phillies’ runs himself with a bases-clearing two-out double in the fifth inning against Mets starter Corey Oswalt. Scott Lauber,, "Aaron Nola picks up Phillies on the mound and at the plate in doubleheader split with Mets," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The 24-year-old will likely return to a starter role with Norfolk. Eduardo A. Encina,, "Early Orioles notes: David Hess optioned to Triple-A Norfolk; third-round pick Blaine Knight signs," 6 July 2018 Not surprisingly, shortly after their super-quick engagement, Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson decided to take the next step and purchase a starter home mansion together. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Ariana Grande And Pete Davidson's $16 Million NYC Mansion Sounds Insane," 21 June 2018 The Brewers kept the pressure on Colorado starter German Márquez, beginning with Cain’s home run. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 5, Rockies 2: Cain ignites offense with lead-off homer, Chacin gets job done," 10 May 2018 Home prices, rent costs, and student loan debt are rising at a faster rate than income while too few starter homes on the market means young people are forced to save for down payments longer than ever. Anna Orso,, "How to buy a house or pay for rent? Mom and Dad might help," 11 Apr. 2018 Miami isn’t a perfect matchup, but Barton’s prices don’t reflect the starter role. Doug Norrie,, "NBA DFS Picks for March 20," 20 Mar. 2018 Minor got a $28 million, three-year contract to return to a starter role. USA TODAY, "Rangers want to add rotation depth, but Yu Darvish unlikely," 16 Jan. 2018 Whether that’s in a multi-inning relief role, similar to last year, or a more conventional starter role remains to be seen. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers general manager David Stearns focused on pitching as he heads to winter meetings," 8 Dec. 2017 Arizona got 11 hits off starter German Marquez (10-7), who lasted only 3 2/3 innings. USA TODAY, "Pollock has 4 RBIs, Corbin pitches D-backs past Rockies 8-2," 14 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'starter.' 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 starter


1622, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1923, in the meaning defined above

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Phrases Related to starter

starter home/house

starter kit

Statistics for starter

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for starter

The first known use of starter was in 1622

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More Definitions for starter



English Language Learners Definition of starter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a player, horse, etc., that is in a game or race at its beginning

: someone who gives the signal for a race to start

: a device that is used for starting an engine



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

—used to describe something small or basic that you get when you are doing something for the first time


start·er | \ˈstär-tər \

Kids Definition of starter

: someone or something that starts something or causes something else to start a car's starter There were seven starters in the race.

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Comments on starter

What made you want to look up starter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that holds something together

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