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

Noun The team is playing only five regular starters. The car's starter needs to be replaced.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Junior guard Manase Mose is the lone player UNT has returning who was listed as a starter on its offensive line heading into its season finale against UAB. Brett Vito, Denton Record-Chronicle, "Breaking down North Texas' recruiting class: The Mean Green’s best signee, a dark horse, overall grade and more," 5 Feb. 2020 The victory was also a coronation for the NFL’s brightest young star: Patrick Mahomes, the 24-year-old Chiefs quarterback who electrified the league in his first two seasons as starter—and played brilliantly in executing a Super Bowl comeback. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Super Bowl Chiefs Make It Worth the Wait," 3 Feb. 2020 For the first time in his career since taking over as starter for the Patriots, Tom Brady's future is uncertain. Jordan Freiman, CBS News, "Super Bowl 2020: Kansas City wins Super Bowl LIV 31-20," 2 Feb. 2020 Questions remain about the secondary, which returns one starter in versatile Patrick Surtain II. 3. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "The SEC’s 5 best defenses for 2020: Texas A&M among a group that may include the nation’s top unit," 31 Jan. 2020 And Notre Dame needs more than one of those to go along with sixth-year player and returning starter Shaun Crawford and junior-to-be TaRiq Bracy, the only other cornerback on the roster who has seen significant and/or high-leverage playing time. Eric Hansen, Indianapolis Star, "Sizing up cornerback options after Landen Bartleson's exit from Notre Dame roster," 27 Jan. 2020 Bethlehem returned four starters from last year’s team, which finished 29-5 after falling to Owensboro Catholic in the first round of the Sweet 16. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "Five things to know about this week's girls basketball LIT at Valley High School," 27 Jan. 2020 Musgrave can build the offense returning starter Chase Garbers at quarterback. oregonlive, "By hiring Bill Musgrave, Cal raises the stakes for Oregon and Washington: Issues & Answers," 5 Jan. 2020 The game will also mark a changing of the guard for Cal’s offense, which will return 10 starters next season, but few of its coaches. Rusty Simmons,, "Redbox Bowl: Cal and Illinois will let their defenses do the talking," 29 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Padres left-handed reliever Matt Strahm is thriving in bullpen again, still harbors starter aspirations SAN FRANCISCO — Corey Seager’s eyes fairly widened. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Matt Strahm’s success in Padres bullpen cuts both ways," 31 Aug. 2019 Rockies starter German Marquez has a knack for standing up straight when the Rockies are slumping. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Five Rockies takeaways: German Marquez, once again, halts losing skid," 11 Aug. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for starter

Time Traveler

The first known use of starter was in 1622

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Statistics for starter

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Starter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for starter


How to pronounce starter (audio)

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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