startling

adjective
star·​tling | \ ˈstärt-liŋ How to pronounce startling (audio) , ˈstär-tᵊl-iŋ\

Definition of startling

: causing momentary fright, surprise, or astonishment a startling discovery

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Other Words from startling

startlingly adverb

Examples of startling in a Sentence

Startling new evidence came to light during the trial. He made a startling discovery. It is a city of startling contrasts.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In the late 1850s, a rather startling shift had turned the idea of the Great American Desert on its head. Johnforristerross, Longreads, "Taming the Great American Desert," 2 July 2018 Instead, South Korea got two goals late, including Son Heung-min's goal late in stoppage time that put an exclamation point on one of the more startling results in recent World Cup memory. Jim Reineking, USA TODAY, "Top 10 World Cup moments: Heroics from Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Hirving Lozano," 29 June 2018 The story made national headlines that only grew more startling. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "'Three Identical Strangers' is a riveting account of identical triplets separated at birth," 28 June 2018 The New York Daily News also reported that an anonymous source familiar with Rise's production says Yoda will also make an appearance after the Jedi master's startling appearance in The Last Jedi. Adam Schubak, Popular Mechanics, "Everything We Know So Far About 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'," 12 Apr. 2019 News that the liberal, California billionaire has emerged as a likely buyer for the National Enquirer is the latest startling twist in the long history of that tabloid, which was founded as a muck-raking New York weekly in 1926. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "Why It Makes Perfect Sense That Billionaire Ron Burkle Would Buy The Enquirer," 11 Apr. 2019 Puppies given a startling amount of antibiotics have spurred a multi-state outbreak of diarrhea-causing bacterial infections that are extensively drug resistant, federal and state health officials report this week. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Drugged puppies blamed for spreading diarrhea superbugs in multi-state outbreak," 21 Sep. 2018 Yoon Young-chan, Moon’s spokesman, said Kim acknowledged the poor road conditions in his country, a startling admission for a member of his ruling family, which is considered godlike and faultless among North Koreans. Choe Sang-hun, BostonGlobe.com, "North and South Korea set bold, but difficult, goals for peace," 28 Apr. 2018 And Cavs PG Jordan Clarkson made a startling admission. USA TODAY, "NBA Click & Roll: Why the Warriors are vulnerable this postseason," 21 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'startling.' 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 startling

1609, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for startling

Last Updated

12 May 2019

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Time Traveler for startling

The first known use of startling was in 1609

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More Definitions for startling

startling

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of startling

: very surprising, shocking, or frightening

startling

adjective
star·​tling

Kids Definition of startling

: causing a moment of fright or surprise a startling noise a startling discovery

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Comments on startling

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