Language: Old English
Origin: styrtan 'to jump'


1 verb
Related topics: Motor Vehicles
start1 S2 W2

begin doing something

[intransitive and transitive] to do something that you were not doing before, and continue doing it [= begin]:
There's so much to do, I don't know where to start.
Have you started your homework?
start doing something
Then the baby started crying.
start to do something
It's starting to rain.
He got up and started running again.
I'd better get started (=start doing something) soon.
start somebody doing something
What Kerry said started me thinking (=made me start thinking).

begin happening

[intransitive and transitive] also start off to begin happening, or to make something begin happening:
What time does the film start?
Lightning started a fire that burned 500 acres.
The party was just getting started when Sara arrived.
starting (from) now/tomorrow/next week etc
You have two hours to complete the test, starting now.

begin in a particular way

[intransitive always + adverb/preposition, transitive] also start off to begin something in a particular way, or to begin in a particular way:
A healthy breakfast is a good way to start the day.
start with
The festivities started with a huge fireworks display.
start as
The restaurant started as a small takeout place.
start badly/well/slowly etc
Any new exercise program should start slowly.
start (something) by doing something
Chao starts by explaining some basic legal concepts.


[transitive] also start up to make something begin to exist
start a business/company/firm etc
She wanted to start her own catering business.


[intransitive and transitive] to begin a new job, or to begin going to school, college etc:
When can you start?
start school/college/work
I started college last week.

car/engine etc

[intransitive and transitive] also start upTETTC if you start a car or engine, or if it starts, it begins to work:
The car wouldn't start this morning.
get the car/engine etc started
He couldn't get his motorbike started.

begin going somewhere

[intransitive] also start off/outTT to begin travelling or moving in a particular direction [= set out]:
We'll have to start early to get there by lunchtime.


[intransitive always + adverb/preposition, transitive] also start off/out to begin your life or profession in a particular way or place
start as/in
She started as a dancer in the 1950s.
It's difficult for new lawyers to get started in private practice.

road/river/path etc

[intransitive always + adverb/preposition] if a river, road, path etc starts somewhere, it begins in that place:
The trail starts immediately behind the hotel.
start in/at
The race will start at the town hall.


[intransitive always + adverb/preposition] if prices, amounts, or rates start at or from a particular number, that is the lowest number at which you can get or buy something
start at/from
Room prices start from £25 a night.

start from scratch/zero

to begin doing a job or activity completely from the beginning:
There were no textbooks, so the teachers had to start from scratch.

deliberately begin something

[transitive] to deliberately make something start happening, especially something bad:
I started a fire to warm the place up.
start a fight/argument
Oh, don't go trying to start an argument.
Other girls were starting rumours about me.

to start with

a) said when talking about the beginning of a situation, especially when it changes later:
I was pretty nervous to start with, but after a while I was fine.
b) said to emphasize the first of a list of facts or opinions you are stating:
There are problems. To start with, neither of us likes housework.

be back where you started

to try to do something and fail, so that you finish in the same situation that you were in before:
A lot of people who lose weight gain it back over time, and end up back where they started.


[intransitive and transitive] if a player starts in a game, or if someone starts them, they begin playing when the game begins, especially because they are one of the best players on the team
start for
Astacio started for the Dodgers on Tuesday night.

start a family

to have your first baby:
We're not ready to start a family yet.

start afresh/anew

to stop doing what you are doing and begin doing it again in a better or different way:
She saw her new job as a chance to start afresh.

somebody started it!

spoken used to say that someone else has caused an argument or problem:
'Don't hit her!' 'But she started it!'

start something/anything

to begin causing trouble:
It looks like Jess is trying to start something.

move suddenly

[intransitive] to move your body suddenly, especially because you are surprised or afraid [= jump]:
A loud knock at the door made her start.
start from
Emma started from her chair and rushed to the window.

start young

to begin doing something when you are young, especially when it is unusual to do it:
Woods started young, and was coached by his father.

Don't (you) start!

British English spoken used to tell someone to stop complaining, arguing, or annoying you:
'Mum, I don't like this ice-cream.' 'Oh, don't you start!'

start back

phrasal verb
to begin returning to the place you came from
start back to/down/up etc
I started back down the mountain to camp.

start in

phrasal verb
1 to begin doing something, especially with a lot of effort:
I decided to just start in and see what I could do.
start in on
Lilly started in on her burger.
2 to begin criticizing someone or complaining to them about something
start in on
Mom turned away from Rose and started in on me.

start off

phrasal verb
1 to begin something in a particular way, or to begin in a particular way
start something ↔ off with something/by doing something
The theater company started off their new season with a Shakespeare play.
start off with something/by doing something
I started off by drawing the flowers I had collected.
2 to be a particular thing or have a particular quality at the beginning of something, especially when this changes later:
The puppies start off white, and get their black spots later.
start off as
The games start off as a social event, but players soon become competitive.
I started off as a drummer.

start something ↔ off

to make something begin happening:
We're not sure what starts the process off.

start somebody ↔ off

to help someone begin an activity
start somebody ↔ off with
He started me off with some stretching exercises.
5 to begin going somewhere:
I sat in the car for a few minutes before starting off.
start off to/towards/back etc
She started off to school in her new uniform.

start somebody off

British English informal to make someone get angry or start laughing, by saying something:
Don't say that; that'll just start him off.
start somebody off doing something
He made her jump, and that started her off giggling.

start on somebody/something

phrasal verb
1 to begin doing something or using something:
You'd better start on your homework.

start somebody on something

to make someone start doing something regularly, especially because it will be good for them:
Try starting your baby on solid foods at four months old.
3 British English informal to begin criticizing someone or complaining to them about something
start on somebody/something at
Ray's wife started on at him about spending too much time in the pub.

start out

phrasal verb
1 to begin happening or existing in a particular way, especially when this changes later
start out as
'The Star' started out as a small weekly newspaper.
The leaves start out a pale green, and later get darker.
2 to begin your life or profession, or an important period of time:
When the band first started out, they played at small clubs.
start out as
She started out as a model.
start out on
young couples starting out on their life together
3 to begin going somewhere:
Oliver started out at five, when it was still dark.

start over

phrasal verb
to start doing something again from the beginning, especially because you want to do it better:
If you make a mistake, just erase it and start over.

start up

phrasal verb
1 if you start up a business, company etc, or it starts up, it begins to exist:
Tax breaks help new companies start up.
start sth↔ up
Jordan started up a band of his own.
2 if an engine, car etc starts up, or you start it up, it begins working:
The driver got back into the car and started up.
start sth↔ up
Rory started up the engine and got the vehicle moving.
3 if a sound, activity, or event starts up, it begins to exist or happen:
The crickets had started up now that it was evening.

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