Etymology: Middle English sterten; akin to Middle High German sterzen to stand up stiffly, move quickly
Date: 14th century
a. to move suddenly and violently ; spring <started angrily to his feet> b. to react with a sudden brief involuntary movement <started when a shot rang out> 2. a. to issue with sudden force <blood starting from the wound> b. to come into being, activity, or operation <when does the movie start> <the rain started up again> 3. to protrude or seem to protrude <eyes starting from their sockets> 4. to become loosened or forced out of place <one of the planks has started> 5. a. to begin a course or journey <started toward the door> <just starting out> b. to range from a specified initial point <the rates start at $10> 6. to begin an activity or undertaking; especially to begin work 7. to be a participant in a game or contest; especially to be in the starting lineup transitive verb 1. to cause to leave a place of concealment ; flush <start a rabbit> 2. archaic startle, alarm 3. to bring up for consideration or discussion 4. to bring into being <start a rumor> 5. to cause to become loosened or displaced 6. to begin the use of <start a fresh loaf of bread> 7. a. to cause to move, act, or operate <start the motor> b. to cause to enter a game or contest; especially to put in the starting lineup c. to care for or train during the early stages of growth and development <started plants> <a well-started coonhound> 8. to do or experience the first stages or actions of <started studying music at the age of five> Synonyms: see begin II. noun Date: 14th century 1. a. a sudden involuntary bodily movement or reaction <woke with a start> b. a brief and sudden action or movement c. a sudden capricious impulse or outburst 2. a beginning of movement, activity, or development <a false start> <housing starts> 3. head start 4. a place of beginning 5. the act or an instance of being a competitor in a race or a member of a starting lineup in a game <undefeated in six starts — Current Biography>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.