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start·​er ˈstär-tər How to pronounce starter (audio)
: a person who initiates or sets going: such as
: an official who gives the signal to begin a race
: one who dispatches vehicles
: one that engages in a competition
especially : a member of a starting lineup
: one that begins to engage in an activity or process
: one that causes something to begin operating: such as
: a device for starting an engine
especially : an electric motor used to start an internal combustion engine
: material containing microorganisms (such as yeast) used to induce a desired fermentation
: something that is the beginning of a process, activity, or series
especially : appetizer


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: 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
for starters
: to begin with

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
For starters, the island has 30 miles of beaches, lush hiking trails, and a seemingly endless supply of scenic waterfalls. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 17 Feb. 2024 Ortiz was seemingly on the outside of the Orioles’ short-term and long-term infield picture, while Hall has struggled to stay healthy and consistently command his pitches as a starter. Jacob Calvin Meyer, Baltimore Sun, 15 Feb. 2024 For starters, as one commenter mentioned, the content might be the precise thing a parent needs to hear in the moment. Beth Ann Mayer, Parents, 15 Feb. 2024 Has anyone ever heard about the benefit of an elder statesman for starters? Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, 15 Feb. 2024 Mahomes, who began the parade in a red starter jacket and shirt, soon stripped off both with the help of his wife, Brittany, who held the shirt and kissed, or blew raspberries, on his belly. The Kansas City Star, Kansas City Star, 14 Feb. 2024 Despite leading Los Angeles to a Super Bowl during his time with the Rams – along with three playoff appearances during his four full seasons as starter – he was traded to the Lions in exchange for Matthew Stafford. Dj Siddiqi, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 Reid had likened the Chiefs’ ‘22 draft to Bill Walsh’s 1981 haul that stocked San Francisco with three immediate starters in the secondary. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Feb. 2024 There are still a great many things about the Grammys that don’t work — for starters, the show’s near-exclusion of rap music, which, as Jay-Z also noted, remains as shameful as ever. Chris Richards, Washington Post, 5 Feb. 2024
There is a path to a playoff repeat if all or must of the following happens: If Jesus Luzardo handles the No. 1 starter role and plays like an ace while Alcantara recovers and Perez develops. Greg Cote, Miami Herald, 19 Feb. 2024 But after former 49ers quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance suffered injuries last year, Purdy snagged the starter spot, and he’s never looked back. Natasha Dye, Peoplemag, 6 Feb. 2024 In response, Novo has tried curbing the supply of starter doses in some markets to ensure patients already prescribed the drug have access to it. Prarthana Prakash, Fortune Europe, 5 Feb. 2024 These homes became the gold-standard for affordable starter homes with three bedrooms, a yard, and close proximity to schools, shopping, and other amenities. Sydney Lake, Fortune, 31 Jan. 2024 Wentz came off the bench in a 37-20 loss to the 49ers last season in place of starter Taylor Heinecke and completed 12 of 16 passes for a 123 yards and a touchdown. Jerry McDonald, The Mercury News, 3 Jan. 2024 That left millennials and Gen Zers with the scraps of starter homes left on the market and mortgage rates that hadn’t been seen in decades. Sydney Lake, Fortune, 10 Jan. 2024 Inventories — particularly the number of starter homes — remain at record lows; younger buyers also are being outbid by baby boomers swooping in with all-cash offers. Eli Tan, Washington Post, 1 Jan. 2024 The Dodgers will face Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly (12-8, 3.29 ERA) in the opener. Austin Knoblauch, Los Angeles Times, 6 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'starter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1622, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1923, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of starter was in 1622

Dictionary Entries Near starter

Cite this Entry

“Starter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: someone or something that starts something or causes something else to start
the starter of a motor
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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