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

For starters, your circadian rhythm impacts your metabolism, and insomnia can throw them both off. Korin Miller, SELF, "13 Surprising Medical Conditions That Can Cause Weight Gain or Loss (and When to Go to the Doctor)," 12 Nov. 2018 TextColorWhiteTransparencyOpaqueBackgroundColorBlackTransparencyOpaqueWindowColorBlackTransparencyTransparent Font Size50% Text Edge StyleNone Font FamilyProportional Sans-Serif For starters, the sound. Iljitsch Van Beijnum, Ars Technica, "Why I use a 20-year-old IBM Model M keyboard," 8 Nov. 2018 For starters, unlike the 1.1 million people employed in the U.S. as security guards, these robots aren’t designed to use force against an intruder. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "Is this robot really going to replace a security guard?," 8 Oct. 2018 For starters, summit Mount Kearsage in Wilmot, or explore a portion of the 40-plus miles of trails in nearby Bear Brook State Park. Paul Rubio, Condé Nast Traveler, "Beautiful Places to See New England Fall Foliage This Year," 5 Oct. 2018 For starters, animal medicines are generally a cash-pay market. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Animal-Health Stocks Will Continue to Shine," 24 Sep. 2018 For starters, instead of being left with a hangover the next day, you're left with a really cute (or maybe hysterically misshapen) craft and abs that are sore from laughing so hard. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "Call All Your Friends, You Need a Wine and Crafts Night," 24 Aug. 2018 For starters, the Chiefs have a better supporting cast around Mahomes. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "Patrick Mahomes draws comparison, but how did Brett Favre do in first year as starter?," 9 July 2018 Go back to 2016, for starters, when the Gaslamp Quarter was swamped with All-Star Game fans. Bryce Miller,, "Padres leadership wise to build ties with MLB's 'in' crowd," 15 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

With the Jetta, VW makes a starter sedan worth having. Dan Neil, WSJ, "2019 Volkswagen Jetta: Return of the Great Cheap Car," 10 Aug. 2018 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

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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Statistics for starter

Last Updated

2 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on starter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with starter

Spanish Central: Translation of starter

Nglish: Translation of starter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of starter for Arabic Speakers

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).


living or existing for a long time

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