Meaning of START in English

/ stɑːt; NAmE stɑːrt/ verb , noun

■ verb



to begin doing or using sth :

[ vn ]

I start work at nine.

He's just started a new job.

I only started (= began to read) this book yesterday.

We need to start (= begin using) a new jar of coffee.

The kids start school next week.

[ v to inf ]

It started to rain.

Mistakes were starting to creep in.

[ v -ing ]

She started laughing.

[ v ]

It's a long story. Where shall I start?

It's time you started on your homework.

Let's start by reviewing what we did last week.

Can you start (= a new job) on Monday?

[ v - adj ]

The best professional musicians start young .

➡ note at begin



to start happening; to make sth start happening :

[ v ]

When does the class start?

Have you any idea where the rumour started?

[ vn ]

Who started the fire?

Do you start the day with a good breakfast?

You're always trying to start an argument.

[ vn -ing ]

The news started me thinking.



when you start a machine or a vehicle or it starts , it begins to operate :

[ vn ]

Start the engines!

I can't get the car started.

[ v ]

The car won't start.



start (sth) (up) to begin to exist; to make sth begin to exist :

[ v ]

There are a lot of small businesses starting up in that area.

[ vn ]

They decided to start a catering business.



[ v ] start (out) to begin a journey; to leave

SYN set off , set out :

What time are we starting tomorrow?



[ v + adv. / prep. ] to begin to move in a particular direction :

I started after her (= began to follow her) to tell her the news.

He started for the door, but I blocked his way.



start (out / off) (sth) (as sth) to begin, or to begin sth such as a career, in a particular way that changed later :

[ v ]

She started as a secretary but ended up running the department.

The company started out with 30 employees.

[ vn ]

He started life as a teacher before turning to journalism.


[ v + adv. / prep. ] to begin from a particular place, amount or situation :

The trail starts just outside the town.

Hotel prices start at €50 a night for a double room.

The evening started badly when the speaker failed to turn up.



[ v ] to move suddenly and quickly because you are surprised or afraid

SYN jump :

The sudden noise made her start.


- don't (you) start

- get started

- you, he, she, etc. started it

- start something

- to start with

—more at alarm noun , ball noun , foot noun


- start back

- start off

- start sb off (on sth)

- start on sb

- start on at sb (about sth) | start on (at sb) about sth

- start out

- start over

- start up | start sth up

■ noun



[ C , usually sing. ] the point at which sth begins :

a perfect start to the day

Things didn't look too hopeful at the start of the year.

The meeting got off to a good / bad start (= started well / badly) .

The trip was a disaster from start to finish .

We've had problems (right) from the start .

( informal )

This could be the start of something big.


[ sing. ] the act or process of beginning sth :

I'll paint the ceiling if you make a start on the walls.

I want to make an early start in the morning.

She's moving abroad to make a fresh start (= to begin a new life) .

—see also false start , kick-start



[ C , usually sing. ] the opportunity that you are given to begin sth in a successful way :

They worked hard to give their children a good start in life .

The job gave him his start in journalism.



the start [ sing. ] the place where a race begins :

The runners lined up at the start.


[ C , usually sing. ] an amount of time or distance that sb has as an advantage over other people at the beginning of a race :

She went into the second round with a five-minute start on the rest of the cyclists.

I gave the younger children a start.

—see also head start


[ C , usually pl. ] ( sport ) a race or competition that sb has taken part in :

She has been beaten only once in six starts.



[ C , usually sing. ] an act of moving your body quickly and suddenly because you are surprised, afraid, etc. :

She woke from the dream with a start .

You gave me quite a start!


- for a start

—more at fit noun , flying start




begin ♦ start off ♦ kick off ♦ commence ♦ open ♦ get under way

These words are all used to talk about things happening from the beginning, or people doing the first part of sth.


to begin to happen or exist; to begin in a particular way or from a particular point:

When does the class start?


to start to happen or exist; to start in a particular way or from a particular point; to start speaking:

When does the concert begin?

start or begin?

There is not much difference in meaning between these words. Start is more frequent in spoken English and in business contexts; begin is more frequent in written English and is often used when you are describing a series of events:

The story begins on the island of Corfu.

Start is not used to mean 'begin speaking': 'Ladies and gentlemen,' he started.

start off

( rather informal ) to start happening or doing sth; to start by doing or being sth:

The discussion started off mildly enough.

kick off

( informal ) to start an event or activity, especially in a particular way; (of an event, activity, etc.) to start, especially in a particular way:

Tom will kick off with a few comments.

The festival kicks off on Monday, September 13.


( formal ) to start happening:

The meeting is scheduled to commence at noon.


to start an event or activity in a particular way; (of an event, film / movie or book) to start, especially in a particular way:

The story opens with a murder.

get under way

to start:

Preparations have got under way for a week of special events in May.


Get under way is used most often with such words as season , preparations , discussions , day , and investigation .


to start / begin / start off / kick off / commence / open / get under way with sth

to start / begin / start off / kick off / commence / open / get under way by doing sth

to start / begin / start off / commence as sth

a campaign / season / meeting starts / begins / starts off / kicks off / commences / opens / gets under way

a film / movie / book starts / begins / starts off / opens

to start / begin all over again

Let's start / begin / start off / kick off / commence / open / get under way (with sth)



Old English styrtan to caper, leap , of Germanic origin; related to Dutch storten push and German stürzen fall headlong, fling. From the sense sudden movement arose the sense initiation of movement, setting out on a journey and hence beginning of a process, etc. .

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.