start1 W2S2 [sta:t US sta:rt] v
1¦(begin doing something)¦
2¦(begin happening)¦
3¦(begin in a particular way)¦
6¦(car/engine etc)¦
7¦(begin going somewhere)¦
9¦(road/river/path etc)¦
11 start from scratch/zero
12¦(deliberately begin something)¦
13 to start with
14 be back where you started
16 start a family
17 start afresh/anew
18 somebody started it!
19 start something/anything
20¦(move suddenly)¦
21 start young
22 Don't (you) start!
Phrasal verbs
 start back
 start in
 start off
 start on somebody/something
 start out
 start over
 start up
[: Old English; Origin: styrtan 'to jump']
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 sth
Then the baby started crying.
start to do sth
It's starting to rain.
He got up and started running again .
I'd better get started (=start doing something) soon.
start sb doing sth
What Kerry said started me thinking (=made me start thinking) .
2.) ¦(BEGIN HAPPENING)¦ [I and T]
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.
3.) ¦(BEGIN IN A PARTICULAR WAY)¦ [I always + adverb/preposition, T]
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 (sth) by doing sth
Chao starts by explaining some basic legal concepts.
also start up
to make something begin to exist
start a business/company/firm etc
She wanted to start her own catering business.
5.) ¦(JOB/SCHOOL)¦ [I and T]
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.
6.) ¦(CAR/ENGINE ETC)¦ [I and T]
also start up
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.
[i]also start off/out
to begin travelling or moving in a particular direction
= ↑set out
We'll have to start early to get there by lunchtime.
8.) ¦(LIFE/PROFESSION)¦ [I always + adverb/preposition, T]
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.
9.) ¦(ROAD/RIVER/PATH ETC)¦ [I 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.
10.)¦(PRICES/AMOUNTS)¦ [I 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.
11.) 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.
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.
13.) to start withspoken
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.
14.) 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.
15.) ¦(SPORTS)¦ [I and T]
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.
16.) start a family
to have your first baby
We're not ready to start a family yet.
17.) 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.
18.) sb started it!
spoken used to say that someone else has caused an argument or problem
'Don't hit her!' 'But she started it!'
19.) start sth/anything
to begin causing trouble
It looks like Jess is trying to start something.
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.
21.) 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.
22.) Don't (you) start!
[i]BrE 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 phr v
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 phr v
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 phr v
1.) to begin something in a particular way, or to begin in a particular way
start sth<=>off with sth/by doing sth
The theater company started off their new season with a Shakespeare play.
start off with sth/by doing sth
I started off by drawing the flowers I had collected the day before.
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.
3.) start sth<=>off
to make something begin happening
We're not sure what starts the process off.
4.) start sb<=>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.
6.) start sb off
BrE informal to make someone get angry or start laughing, by saying something
Don't say that; that'll just start him off.
start sb off doing sth
He made her jump, and that started her off giggling.
start on / [start on sb/sth] phr v
1.) to begin doing something or using something
You'd better start on your homework.
2.) start sb on sth
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.) BrE 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 phr v
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 phr v
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 phr v
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.
start 2
start2 W3S2 n
1¦(of an activity/event)¦
2¦(of a period of time)¦
3 make a start (on something)
4¦(sudden movement)¦
5 good/better/healthy etc start (in life)
6¦(where race begins)¦
7¦(being ahead)¦
8 for a start
9 be a start
11 starts
1.) ¦(OF AN ACTIVITY/EVENT)¦ [C usually singular]
the first part of an activity or event, or the point at which it begins to develop
start of
We arrived late and missed the start of the film.
(right) from the start
We've had problems with this project right from the start.
She read the letter from start to finish without looking up.
get off to a good/bad etc start
a free bottle of wine to get your holiday off to a great start
(=begin well or badly)
a rocky/shaky/slow etc start
(=a bad beginning)
After a rocky start, the show is now very popular.
He wanted an early start on his election campaign.
2.) ¦(OF A PERIOD OF TIME)¦ [C usually singular]
the first part of a particular period of time
= ↑beginning start of
Since the start of 1992, the company has doubled in size.
the start of the year/day/season
the start of an election year
get off to a good/bad etc start
(=begin well or badly)
The day got off to a bad start when I missed the train.
3.) make a start (on sth)
to begin doing something
I'll make a start on the washing-up.
4.) ¦(SUDDEN MOVEMENT)¦ [singular]
a sudden movement of your body, usually caused by fear or surprise
with a start
Ted woke up with a start and felt for the light switch.
She said his name and Tom gave a start (=made a sudden movement) .
5.) good/better/healthy etc start (in life)
if you have a good etc start, you have all the advantages or opportunities that your situation, your parents etc could provide to help you succeed
Good health care for the mother before birth gives babies a healthy start .
Naturally we want to give our kids the best possible start in life .
the start
the place where a race begins
The horses were all lined up at the start.
7.) ¦(BEING AHEAD)¦ [C usually singular]
the amount of time or distance by which one person is ahead of another, especially in a race or competition
start on
The prisoners had a three-hour start on their pursuers.
8.) for a start
BrE informal used to emphasize the first of a list of facts or opinions you are stating
Well, for a start, the weather was horrible.
9.) be a start
spoken used to say that something you have achieved may not be impressive, but it will help with a bigger achievement
One exercise class a week isn't enough, but it's a start .
a) [C usually singular]
the beginning of someone's job, which they will develop in the future, especially a job that involves acting, writing, painting etc
Pacino got his start on the stage, before his success in films.
I gave you your start , so remember me when you win the Pulitzer Prize.
b) [C usually plural]
a job that has just started, a business that has just been started, or someone who has just started a new job
The number of business starts plummeted 10.5% during the second half of the year.
a training course for new starts
11.) starts also housing starts [plural]
technical when people begin to build a number of new houses
12.) ¦(SPORT)¦ [C usually plural]
a) a race or competition that someone has taken part in
The horse Exotic Wood was unbeaten in five starts.
b) an occasion when a player plays when a sports match begins
Jackson played in 353 games, with 314 starts.
fresh start atfresh
in/by fits and starts atfit3 (7)

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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