From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishto start withto start withspokena)BEGINNINGsaid when talking about the beginning of a situation, especially when it changes laterI was pretty nervous to start with, but after a while I was fine.b)FIRSTsaid to emphasize the first of a list of facts or opinions you are statingThere are problems. To start with, neither of us likes housework. →start
Examples from the Corpus
to start with• Especially when some people are stupidto start with, and careless of existing laws.• I was nervousto start with, but after a while I was fine.• I'm not going to Vegas. To start with, I don't like gambling, and I also can't get time off work.• I wanted to start with something that was better and more efficient.• We have decidedto start with the basics.• The more localized in position that it is to start with, the more quickly it will spread.• Cheapmerchandise was overpriced to start with, then sold on time with fantastic interest.• List your privatefearsto start with, then your public ones, if any.• Given that they're feeling unwellto start with, this can lead to tears.