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

Definition of startling

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The scene, which is quite startling even by HBO standards, lit the internet on fire. Ethan Shanfeld, Variety, 15 June 2022 In more recent years, the shift has been even more startling. Liam Dillonstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 31 May 2022 The vitriol of Gendron’s alleged screeds and the brutality of his attack are nonetheless startling—a warning about the prospect of more politicized violence in the country’s near future. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, 22 May 2022 Tuesday’s primary elections were a political junkie’s delight, featuring surprising upsets, startling rebukes and razor-thin margins. Karl Rove, WSJ, 18 May 2022 The difference is quite startling, with version 2.0 picking up on the movements much more cleanly. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 20 Apr. 2022 Though the numbers are startling to many in China, where covid outbreaks were quickly eliminated until the emergence of the new more contagious variants last year. Jane Li, Quartz, 6 Apr. 2022 The difference was startling to everyone when González arrived at Camelback Ranch in March. Jorge Castillostaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 5 Apr. 2022 Our son had been too weak to support himself, so her development was really startling to watch., 11 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of startling

1609, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for startling

Time Traveler

The first known use of startling was in 1609

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Last Updated

25 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Startling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for startling



Kids Definition of startling

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

More from Merriam-Webster on startling

Nglish: Translation of startling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of startling for Arabic Speakers


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