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 Leaf posted a record of 4-14 as a starter in three seasons with the Chargers. oregonlive, "Former NFL QB, Washington State star Ryan Leaf arrested on domestic battery charge," 26 May 2020 As a freshman Moretti started only one game, but earned a starting role as a sophomore and would finish his final 69 games in Lubbock all as a starter. Brice Paterik, Dallas News, "Texas Tech guard Davide Moretti opts to forego final college season to play in Italy," 23 May 2020 Eight members from Jess’ pledge class showed interest, but Jess was one of three to join Potocsnak as a starter for the race in April. Stefan Krajisnisk, Indianapolis Star, "IU student's lowest point, the loss of her brother, led her to the Little 500," 23 May 2020 Shawna Stewart Greenway: Sourdough starter scallion pancakes. Jasmin Perez, Sunset Magazine, "Best of the West: Snacks That Get Us Through the Midday Slump," 12 May 2020 Twins outfielder Kim Hyun-soo, who spent some time with the Baltimore Orioles, hit the league's first home run of the season in the third inning, a two-run shot off Bears starter Raul Alcantara. Kim Tong-hyung, The Christian Science Monitor, "With a crack of the bat, baseball returns in South Korea," 5 May 2020 If using a chimney starter, begin by tearing three or four sheets of newspaper into 2- to 3-inches-wide strips. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How To Became a Charcoal Grill Master," 2 May 2020 Recipes like dalgona coffee, sourdough starters, and banana bread aren’t being associated with limitation or hardship, but with relieving stress and removing uncertainty. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "In 1950, Americans Had Aspic. Now We Have Dalgona Coffee.," 29 Apr. 2020 Universal basic income is a non-starter with the GOP, however, and is likely to be rejected by Republicans, who control the Senate, and by President Trump, who is eager for people to return to work. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Pelosi: Time to consider providing 'guaranteed income'," 27 Apr. 2020 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

2 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Starter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2020.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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