start

1 of 3

verb

started; starting; starts

intransitive verb

1
a
: to move suddenly and violently : spring
started angrily to his feet
b
: to react with a sudden brief involuntary movement
started when a shot rang out
2
a
: to issue with sudden force
blood starting from the wound
b
: to come into being, activity, or operation
when does the movie start
the rain started up again
3
: to protrude or seem to protrude
eyes starting from their sockets
4
: to become loosened or forced out of place
one of the planks has started
5
a
: to begin a course or journey
started toward the door
just starting out
b
: to range from a specified initial point
the rates start at $10
6
: to begin an activity or undertaking
especially : to begin work
7
: to be a participant in a game or contest
especially : to be in the starting lineup

transitive verb

1
: to cause to leave a place of concealment : flush
start a rabbit
2
archaic : startle, alarm
3
: to bring up for consideration or discussion
4
: to bring into being
start a rumor
5
: to cause to become loosened or displaced
6
: to begin the use of
start a fresh loaf of bread
7
a
: to cause to move, act, or operate
start the motor
b
: to cause to enter a game or contest
especially : to put in the starting lineup
c
: to care for or train during the early stages of growth and development
started plants
a well-started coonhound
8
: to do or experience the first stages or actions of
started studying music at the age of five

start

2 of 3

noun

1
a
: a sudden involuntary bodily movement or reaction
woke with a start
b
: a brief and sudden action or movement
c
: a sudden capricious impulse or outburst
2
: a beginning of movement, activity, or development
a false start
housing starts
3
4
: a place of beginning
5
: the act or an instance of being a competitor in a race or a member of a starting lineup in a game
undefeated in six startsCurrent Biography

START

3 of 3

abbreviation

strategic arms reduction talks
Phrases
start something or less commonly start anything
: to make trouble
always trying to start something
don't start anything
to start with
1
: at the beginning : initially
2
: in any event
Choose the Right Synonym for start

begin, commence, start, initiate, inaugurate, usher in mean to take the first step in a course, process, or operation.

begin, start, and commence are often interchangeable.

begin, opposed to end, is the most general.

begin a trip
began dancing

start, opposed to stop, applies especially to first actions, steps, or stages.

the work started slowly

commence can be more formal or bookish than begin or start.

commence firing
commenced a conversation

initiate implies taking a first step in a process or series that is to continue.

initiated diplomatic contacts

inaugurate suggests a beginning of some formality or notion of significance.

the discovery of penicillin inaugurated a new era in medicine

usher in is somewhat less weighty than inaugurate.

ushered in a period of economic decline

Examples of start in a Sentence

Verb They started clearing land for the new housing development. He started studying music at the age of five. As soon as you're ready to play, we'll start. Let's start with some warm-up exercises. He deleted what he wrote and started fresh. Olympic athletes start young and train hard. I started the quilt last month. Have you started your book report? We started the meeting at 6:30. She started the meeting with a brief review of the previous meeting. Noun knew from the start of the game that he would win easily
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Most importantly, Affleck, who has struggled with alcohol addiction in the past, has not relapsed and started drinking again, despite a report this week suggesting otherwise, sources told In Touch Weekly. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, 13 June 2024 Another round of Amazon Prime Day beauty deals is (allegedly) on its way, but that doesn't mean the savings haven't already started. Sarah Han, Allure, 13 June 2024
Noun
López, the Twins’ pitcher of the game and winner of Wednesday’s prize, rebounded after giving up seven runs at Yankee Stadium his last start, giving up two runs in five innings pitched on Wednesday. Betsy Helfand, Twin Cities, 12 June 2024 In seven starts since missing nearly two years following his second Tommy John surgery, Buehler has a 4.64 ERA. Doug Padilla, Orange County Register, 12 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for start 

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English sterten; akin to Middle High German sterzen to stand up stiffly, move quickly

First Known Use

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of start was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near start

Cite this Entry

“Start.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/start. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

start

1 of 2 verb
1
: to move suddenly and sharply : give a sudden twitch or jerk (as in surprise)
2
: to come or bring into being, activity, or operation
who started the rumor
started a camp for youngsters
fire started in the cellar
the game started late
3
: to stick out or seem to stick out : protrude
eyes that started from their sockets
4
: set out sense 2, begin
start to school
5
: to take part or cause to take part in a game or contest
6
: to cause to move, act, or operate
start the motor

start

2 of 2 noun
1
a
: a quick unwilled bodily reaction
b
: a brief and sudden action or movement
2
: a beginning of movement, activity, or development
get an early start
3
: a lead or advantage at the beginning of a race or competition : head start
4
: a place of beginning

More from Merriam-Webster on start

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