At a start
Start Start, n. 1. The act of starting; a sudden spring, leap, or motion, caused by surprise, fear, pain, or the like; any sudden motion, or beginning of motion. [1913 Webster]

The fright awakened Arcite with a start. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

2. A convulsive motion, twitch, or spasm; a spasmodic effort. [1913 Webster]

For she did speak in starts distractedly. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Nature does nothing by starts and leaps, or in a hurry. --L'Estrange. [1913 Webster]

3. A sudden, unexpected movement; a sudden and capricious impulse; a sally; as, starts of fancy. [1913 Webster]

To check the starts and sallies of the soul. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

4. The beginning, as of a journey or a course of action; first motion from a place; act of setting out; the outset; -- opposed to {finish}. [1913 Webster]

The start of first performance is all. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips, Straining upon the start. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{At a start}, at once; in an instant. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

At a start he was betwixt them two. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

{To get the start}, or {To have the start}, to begin before another; to gain or have the advantage in a similar undertaking; -- usually with of. ``Get the start of the majestic world.'' --Shak. ``She might have forsaken him if he had not got the start of her.'' --Dryden. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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