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

Believe it or not, architecture is a general topic that tends to work well as a conversation starter. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "13 Surefire Ways to Start a Cocktail Party Conversation," 1 Feb. 2019 That’s the situation at Richards, where senior Sebastian Castro — an Iowa commit as a safety — is back for his second season as a two-way starter. Mike Clark, Daily Southtown, "Football notes: For starters, Richards has two veteran quarterbacks in Marquel Porter and Sebastian Castro," 6 July 2018 For starters, Lyst claims that in 2018, searches for sustainable fashion increased by 66%. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Lyst Releases 2018 Sustainability Report," 12 Mar. 2019 For starters, each cottage has 2 bicycles for our guests to use. Hannah Seligson, Town & Country, "The Best Room At... Winvian Farm," 19 Feb. 2019 The starters will likely throw 20-25 pitches in their first outings. Carrie Muskat, The Seattle Times, "Buster Posey likely won’t catch in early spring games," 20 Feb. 2019 The first episode will follow Grace's work with a family that's rooted in the ice cream industry, so her ice cream parlor kitchen add-on makes for the most playful conversation starter. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "HGTV’s One of a Kind With Grace Mitchell Is a Must-Watch—Here's Everything You Need to Know," 20 Feb. 2019 But arguably the biggest gossip-starter has been the seemingly endless stream of diamond rings that Kylie appears to enjoy wearing on social media. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Every Time Kylie Jenner Sparked Engagement Rumors With Diamond Rings," 6 Jan. 2019 Included in the Quip starter set is the electric brush, large toothpaste, and a small toothpaste. Stephanie Saltzman, Allure, "18 Reasons Every Beauty Lover Should Shop at Target," 1 Oct. 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

8 Apr 2019

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 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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marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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