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 But the sophomore from Philadelphia has established himself to be a bona fide starter as a sophomore. Daniel Oyefusi,, "3 takeaways from Maryland men’s basketball’s win over Michigan State, including Hakim Hart’s rise," 1 Mar. 2021 Left-hander Tyler Alexander, the Tigers' starter, gave up a second-pitch (86.4 mph cutter) home run to Adam Haseley in the top of the first inning but settled down. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Willi Castro HR highlights Detroit Tigers' 10-2 win in Grapefruit League opener," 28 Feb. 2021 New Sox starter Lance Lynn had his fastball working Saturday, zipping pitches while facing Seby Zavala and Jake Burger, among others, during live batting practice. Lamond Pope,, "3 things we learned from Chicago White Sox spring training, including Yasmani Grandal recovering from knee inflammation and all 40 roster members being under contract," 28 Feb. 2021 The Sun Devils were missing Iris Mbulito in that game and Maggie Besselink, now a starter, played only nine minutes. Jeff Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic, "ASU women's basketball seeks to upset No. 9 Arizona in regular season finale," 28 Feb. 2021 Or is there a message for the Heat in there — one that explains why they’re forever linked in trade talks with an All-Star starter like Washington guard Bradley Beal? Dave Hyde,, "Hyde: What did NBA coaches say in bypassing Heat’s Adebayo, Butler for All-Star Game? | Commentary," 27 Feb. 2021 The Twins' manager has a couple of vacancies to fill in his outfield, both for a starter to replace Eddie Rosario and a reserve to take LaMonte Wade Jr.'s place. Phil Miller, Star Tribune, "For your confusion: Twins outfielders Keon Broxton and Byron Keiron Buxton," 27 Feb. 2021 This week, general manager John Lynch indicated the 49ers’ plan was to retain injury plagued starter Jimmy Garoppolo and upgrade the spots behind him given his medical file. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, "Can Josh Rosen turn his career around with the 49ers? Kurt Warner has his doubts," 27 Feb. 2021 He was voted an All-Star starter by fans, media and players. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Kevin Durant will miss more time with hamstring injury," 27 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Manager Kevin Cash — uncharacteristically slow to pull starter Tyler Glasnow in Game 1 — also has fresh arms in the bullpen. Creg Stephenson |, al, "World Series 2020 live stream (10/21): How to watch Dodgers-Rays Game 2 online, TV, time," 21 Oct. 2020 And like other nights that are becoming more and more common, Johnson unleashed an offensive repertoire that might not look like the version of Leonard the Spurs traded away, but sure resembled a rough starter kit. Mike Finger,, "Finger: As Keldon Johnson improves, so does the Spurs’ Kawhi trade haul," 14 Jan. 2021 The starter kit is just shy of $200 and includes 70 servings of HMR shakes and entrees, support materials, weekly group coaching and free shipping. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Mediterranean diet named best diet for 2021," 5 Jan. 2021 It’s like a starter kit for future software engineers and hackers, together with Mandelbrot Set, Lorenz Attractor, et cetera. New York Times, "The Lasting Lessons of John Conway’s Game of Life," 23 Dec. 2020 This starter kit features 52 blue bricks to create a blue whale, a train, and a robot before diving into their own creations. Courtney Campbell, USA TODAY, "30 great gifts under $5 that won't end up in the trash," 11 Dec. 2020 The starter pack offerings include a podcast, audio book, music and activities. Lindsey Hunter Lopez, USA TODAY, "26 cute and fun Valentine's Day gifts kids will love," 21 Jan. 2021 The rubber tree is a great starter plant for anyone who's not known for having a green thumb. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "Here's How to Care for a Rubber Plant," 20 Jan. 2021 Drummond and Allen together would not only be a hefty financial investment in a devalued position but also a cumbersome pairing that could lead to numerous snags when trying to allocate minutes and keep both starter-quality bigs happy. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Can Cleveland Cavaliers truly afford to trade Andre Drummond?," 16 Jan. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of starter


1622, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1923, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about starter

Time Traveler for starter

Time Traveler

The first known use of starter was in 1622

See more words from the same year

Statistics for starter

Last Updated

3 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Starter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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 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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!