Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Wikipedia.


v. start·ed, start·ing, starts
a. To begin a movement, activity, or undertaking: She started to dance. The dog started barking. Once we start in, we'll get a feel for the project.
b. To move on the initial part of a journey: They started for the summit.
a. To have a beginning; commence: The movie starts at nine.
b. To come quickly into view, life, or activity; spring forth: The boy's tears started when the balloon popped.
c. To have as an initial part or job: I started as an assistant.
3. To move one's body or a part of it suddenly or involuntarily: started at the loud noise.
4. Sports To be in the initial lineup of a game or race.
5. To protrude or bulge: eyes that fairly started from their sockets in fear.
6. To become loosened or disengaged.
a. To take the first step in doing: We start work at dawn. See Synonyms at begin.
b. To cause to come into being; make happen or originate: Bad wiring started the fire. The website started the rumor.
c. To set into motion, operation, or activity: start an engine; a shot that started the race.
2. To begin to attend: start school.
3. To cause (someone) to have an initial position or role: The manager started him in marketing.
4. Sports
a. To play in the initial lineup of (a game).
b. To put (a player) into the initial lineup of a game.
c. To enter (a participant) into a race or game.
5. To found; establish: start a business.
6. To tend in an early stage of development: start seedlings.
7. To rouse (game) from its hiding place or lair; flush.
8. To cause to become displaced or loosened.
a. An act of beginning; an initial effort: I made a start on keeping a journal.
b. The beginning of a new construction project: an application for a building start.
c. A result of an initial effort: What we did may not sound like much, but it's a start.
2. A place or time of beginning: at the start of the decade.
3. Sports
a. A starting line for a race.
b. A signal to begin a race.
c. An instance of beginning a race: a sprinter who improved her start.
d. An instance of being in the starting lineup for a game, especially as a pitcher: In five starts, he has three wins.
4. A startled reaction or movement.
5. A part that has become dislocated or loosened.
6. A position of advantage over others, as in a race or an endeavor; a lead: Our rivals have a three-month start in research.
7. An opportunity granted to pursue a career or course of action.
start a family
To conceive or have a first child.
start in on
1. To begin an activity regarding (something): start in on a new book.
2. To begin to criticize or complain about (someone or something).
start something Informal
To cause trouble.
to start with
1. At the beginning; initially.
2. In any case.

[Middle English sterten, to move or leap suddenly, from Old English *styrtan; see ster- in Indo-European roots.]




get a move on To get going, to proceed; move speedily or efficiently. This original U.S. expression dates from the late 1800s.

Come on! Come on! … Get a move on! Will you hurry up! (C. E. Mulford, Bar-20 Days, 1911)

A more picturesque variant is the American slang get a wiggle on, current since the turn of the century. This expression plays on the image of one’s posture while running or walking quickly, a more defined image than that conjured up by the word move in the former expression.

get cracking To get moving, to get started on; to hustle, hurry. Although the origin of this slang expression is unknown, it may be related to a relatively uncommon meaning of crack ‘to move or travel speedily, to whip along,’ which dates from the early 19th century. The phrase get cracking itself, however, appears to be of fairly recent origin.

Come on, let’s get cracking, we’re late now. (S. Gibbons, Matchmaker, 1949)

get on the stick To get on the ball, to get started or going, to get a move on. Although the meaning of stick in the expression is not clear, the phrase nevertheless enjoys widespread popularity. It is often used as an imperative.

Worrying what might happen if we didn’t get on the stick pretty fast. (Tom Findley, as quoted in Webster’s 6,000)

get the show on the road To get any undertaking under way, but most often to start off on a trip of some kind; to hit the road; usually used in reference to a group of people and their belongings. This expression probably derives from traveling shows, such as theatrical troupes, circuses, etc., which regularly toured the countryside giving performances along the way.

let her go, Gallagher! Let’s go; let’s get started without delay. The “Gallagher” to whom this advice is given may be one or none of the legendary people cited in various folklore explanations. He may have been a cab driver in Australia, a hangman in Galveston (Texas), a warden in St. Louis, the owner of a broken-down nag (horse) in Texas, a street-car operator in New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago, Galveston, or Camden, New Jersey; or any of an almost endless list of folk heroes named Gallagher. Most likely, “Gallagher” was chosen because it is close in sound to “let ’er go.” In spite of the amorphous nature of this “Gallagher,” the expression has enjoyed international popularity for more than a hundred years.

pull one’s socks up To get on the stick or on the ball, to get a move on, to shape up, to show more stuff. This British colloquialism apparently had the earlier sense of bracing one-self for an effort, probably in reference to the way runners pull up their socks before starting off on a race. Or the expression may simply refer to making one-self presentable in appearance.

put one’s hand to the plow To undertake a task, to get down to business; to embark on a course of action.

It was time … to set his hand to the plow in good earnest. (George Hickes and Robert Nelson, Memoirs of the Life of John Kettlewell, 1718)

The allusion is to Jesus’ admonishment of a man who said he would follow Him but only after bidding his family farewell.

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom or God. (Luke 9:62)

shake a leg To get a move on, to get going, to hurry up; to dance. This expression meaning ’to dance’ dates from the 17th century. Currently, the other meanings are more common.

… if you shake a leg and somebody aoesn’t get in ahead of you … (John Dos Passos, cited in Webster’s Third)

step on the gas To speed up; also, step on it. This expression alludes to the speeding up of a car by depressing the accelerator. The phrase enjoys widespread use in the United States and Great Britain.

Jazz it up. Keep moving. Step on the gas. (Aldous Huxley, Jesting Pilate, 1926)

The phrase is often used imperatively, directing a slothful or sluggish performer to increase his pace.

stir one’s stumps To get a move on, to get into action; to shake a leg. In this expression, stumps alludes to the legs, or to the wooden prosthetic attachment fastened to a stump or mangled limb. Use of this rather indelicate phrase has declined since the 19th century.

Come, why don’t you stir your stumps? I suppose I must wait on myself. (Baron Edward Lytton, Ernest Maltravers, 1837)

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.starting - a turn to be a starter (in a game at the beginning); "he got his start because one of the regular pitchers was in the hospital"; "his starting meant that the coach thought he was one of their best linemen"
turn, play - (game) the activity of doing something in an agreed succession; "it is my turn"; "it is still my play"
Adj.1.starting - (especially of eyes) bulging or protruding as with fear; "with eyes starting from their sockets"
protrusive - thrusting outward
2.starting - appropriate to the beginning or start of an event; "the starting point"; "hands in the starting position"
opening - first or beginning; "the memorable opening bars of Beethoven's Fifth"; "the play's opening scene"


[ˈstɑːtɪŋ] CPD starting block N (Athletics) → taco m de salida
starting gate N (US) (Horse racing) → cajón m de salida, parrilla f de salida
starting grid N (Motor racing) → parrilla f de arranque
starting handle N (Brit) (Aut) → manivela f de arranque
starting line N (Athletics) → línea f de salida
starting point N (fig) → punto m de partida
starting post N (Sport) → poste m de salida
starting price N (St Ex) → cotización f
starting salary Nsueldo m inicial
starting stalls NPL (Brit) (Horse racing) → cajones mpl de salida


in cpds (Sport) → Start-;
starting block
nStartblock m; to be fast/slow off the startingsschnell/langsam aus den Startblöcken wegkommen
starting gate
nStartmaschine f
starting grid
nStart(platz) m
starting gun
nStartpistole f
starting handle
nAnlasserkurbel f
starting point
n (lit, fig)Ausgangspunkt m
starting post
nStartpflock m
starting price
n (Horse Racing) → letzter Kurs vor dem Start
starting signal
nStartzeichen nt
starting stalls
pl (Brit: horse racing) → Startmaschine f


[ˈstɑːtɪŋ] adjdi partenza
References in classic literature ?
No fear of him not starting for the land of wonders.
They were always ready to forget their troubles at home, and to run away with me over the prairie, scaring rabbits or starting up flocks of quail.
Both children wanted to follow their father when they saw him starting out.
The savage struggled powerfully to gain the point of safety, and, favored by the glancing water, he was already stretching forth an arm to meet the grasp of his companions, when he shot away again with the shirling current, appeared to rise into the air, with uplifted arms and starting eyeballs, and fell, with a sudden plunge, into that deep and yawning abyss over which he hovered.
But I could imagine, even then, that, under some excitement which should go deeply into his consciousness -- roused by a trumpets real, loud enough to awaken all of his energies that were not dead, but only slumbering -- he was yet capable of flinging off his infirmities like a sick man's gown, dropping the staff of age to seize a battle-sword, and starting up once more a warrior.
As he approached the stream, his heart began to thump he summoned up, however, all his resolution, gave his horse half a score of kicks in the ribs, and attempted to dash briskly across the bridge; but instead of starting forward, the perverse old animal made a lateral movement, and ran broadside against the fence.
There had been a moment when I believed I recognized, faint and far, the cry of a child; there had been another when I found myself just consciously starting as at the passage, before my door, of a light footstep.
Starting up, the landlord cried, That's the Grampus's crew.
Starting from a brief standing sleep, I was horribly conscious of something fatally wrong.
They are supposed," said Justice, the roan cob, in his calm way, "to prevent horses from shying and starting, and getting so frightened as to cause accidents.
It was too much for some of the visitors--the men would look at each other, laughing nervously, and the women would stand with hands clenched, and the blood rushing to their faces, and the tears starting in their eyes.
said Aunt Chloe, starting up and hastily drawing the curtain.