start·​er | \ ˈstär-tər How to pronounce starter (audio) \

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

Senior Da’Quan Patton, who led the team in tackles with 70, is one of two starters back at linebacker along with Walter Neil Jr. (40 tackles). Matt Murschel,, "2019 College Football Rankings: Kansas State to kick off new era without Bill Snyder," 13 June 2019 Specifically, strides made by left-handed hitters Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and rookie Alex Verdugo have created more dilemmas for opposing managers and placed a greater emphasis on finding a blend of starters and relievers who can harness them. Mark Gonzales,, "Cubs are facing a Dodgers lineup that is much tougher on left-handed pitching than it once was," 13 June 2019 The Colts also re-signed a slew of starters during free agency last spring, including cornerback Pierre Desir, defensive lineman Margus Hunt, guard Mark Glowinski, kicker Adam Vinatieri and safety Clayton Geathers. Zak Keefer, Indianapolis Star, "Colts send a message in extending CB Kenny Moore," 13 June 2019 The final election of the starters begins June 26 at noon and finishes at 4 p.m. the next day. Nora Princiotti,, "Steve Pearce is making progress in his recovery," 10 June 2019 In both postseasons, the Dodgers also pulled from their plethora of starters to fill out their bullpen, using Kenta Maeda, Alex Wood and a sprinkling of others in relief. Dave Sheinen,, "With Craig Kimbrel a Cub, remember: World Series champs build their bullpens on the fly," 7 June 2019 The 2016 graduate of Del Norte High was going to be one of eight returning starters for the Ducks, who also had plenty of pitching for another run at the conference crown. Pomerado News, "Ex-Nighthawk helps Oregon softball through tough season," 6 June 2019 The outfielder’s big night came in support of starter Jose Berrios, who allowed just two runs — one earned — in his six-plus innings pitched. Betsy Helfand, Twin Cities, "Max Kepler hits three home runs as Twins beat Indians," 6 June 2019 Gambrell was one of Oregon State’s three weekend starters this season., "Oregon State junior pitcher Grant Gambrell picked No. 80 by Kansas City Royals, intends to turn professional," 4 June 2019

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

17 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for starter

The first known use of starter was in 1622

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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 How to pronounce starter (audio) \

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

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