startle pattern

noun
variants: or startle reaction or startle response

Definition of startle pattern

: the complex of psychophysiological changes that is elicited in an organism by an unexpected sudden stimulus (such as a loud noise) and includes tremor, sweating, palpitation, dry mouth, and a feeling of fear or panic sometimes followed by escape or avoidance reactions

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Learn More about startle pattern

Statistics for startle pattern

Cite this Entry

“Startle pattern.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/startle%20pattern. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

Comments on startle pattern

What made you want to look up startle pattern? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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