1 verb
1 BEGIN DOING STH (I, T) to begin doing something: start doing sth: I've just started learning German. | We'd better start getting dressed soon. | start to do sth: When Tom heard this he started to laugh uncontrollably. | Things started to go wrong after we reached Cairo. | Damn! It's just started to rain. | start sth: Haven't you started that book yet? | There was so much to do we didn't know where to start. | Do start, (=begin to eat a meal) or it'll go cold.
(+ from): Starting from point A draw a straight line down to point B. | start (off) with (=deal with something as the first part of an activity): Decorating the place was going to be a major job, and we decided to start with the kitchen. | start (off) by doing: Start by melting the butter in the frying pan. | start again (=begin doing something again): Billy was afraid to say anything in case she started crying again. | get started (=start doing something, especially when you have not been able to do anything yet, or have been lazy): We better get started if we want to finish this job by midday. | start from scratch (=start a job or activity from the beginning): They had to start from scratch redecorating the house. | start afresh/anew (=start doing something again better or differently): Lisa saw the new job as a chance to start afresh.
2 BEGIN HAPPENING also start off (I, T) to begin happening or make something begin happening: Do you know what time the match starts?
(+ in): The marathon race starts in the city centre. | start sth: The avalanche was started by a rock fall on the higher slopes. | start sb doing sth: The conversation he overheard had started him thinking. | start with: The festivities started with a huge fireworks display. | starting from now/tomorrow/next week etc: You have two minutes to answer the following questions starting from now. | get started (=start happening, especially after a delay): The match finally got started at 2.30 p.m.
3 to start with
a) used when talking about the beginning of a situation, especially when it changes later: I felt nervous to start with, but soon began to relax.
b) used to emphasize the first of a list of facts or opinions you are stating: We're not going on holiday this year; to start with we haven't got the money and then there's still a lot we need to do on the house.
—see firstly
4 PERIOD OF TIME (intransitive always + adv/prep, transitive always + adv/prep) if a fixed period of time starts in a certain way, or you start it in a certain way, it begins in that way
(+ badly/well): The season started badly for United when they lost their first three matches. | start sth with/on etc: Jerome always starts the day with a cup of coffee and a cigarette.
5 be back where you started to have failed to do what you have been trying to do: Liz hasn't got his address, so we're back where we started.
6 JOB SCHOOL (I, T) to begin a new job, or to begin going to school, college etc: The sales manager phoned this morning to ask if I could start next week. | start school/college/work: Simon's starting school in September.
7 JOURNEY also start off/out (I) to begin a journey: We'll have to start early to get to Edinburgh by midday.
(+ from): We start out from Harlow at seven.
8 LIFE/PROFESSION also start off/out (intransitive always + adv/prep, transitive always + adv/prep) to begin your life or profession in a certain way
(+ as/in): Rob started off as a salesman and now he's managing director. | start sth: We started married life living in a caravan.
9 ROAD/RIVER (intransitive always + adv/prep) if a river, road etc starts somewhere it begins in that place
(+ in/at): The Mississippi starts in Minnesota.
10 CAR also start up (I, T) 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 started: He couldn't get his motorbike started.
11 PRICES (intransitive always + adv/prep) if prices start at or from a particular figure, that is the lowest figure at which you can get or buy something
(+ at/from): Prices for bed and breakfast start at -15 a night.
12 BUSINESS/CLUB also start up (T) to make something begin to exist: Sally decided to start up a club for single mums in the neighbourhood. | start a business/company/firm: Bruno started his own plumbing business when he was only 24.
13 start a family to have your first baby: At she thought it was about time they started a family.
14 start a fire to deliberately cause a fire
15 start a fight/argument etc to deliberately cause a fight, argument etc: Don't let him drink too much - he'll only start a fight with someone.
16 start a rumour to tell other people something, usually something unpleasant or untrue: She wondered who could have started such a vicious rumour.
17 Don't (you) start! 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!”
18 you started it ! spoken used to tell someone that they caused an argument or problem: “Stop arguing with me Dave!” “It was you who started it.”
19 start something/anything to begin causing trouble: I was worried in case my mate Ronnie started anything.
20 MOVE SUDDENLY (I) to move your body suddenly, especially because you are surprised or afraid: A loud knock at the door made her start.
(+ from): Emma started from her chair and rushed to the window.
21 LIQUID (intransitive always + adv/prep) if a liquid or substance starts from somewhere, it comes out quickly: Blood started from the wound.
22 start young to begin doing something when you are young: “Marcia's only ten and she's already got a boyfriend.” “Yes, they start young nowadays!”
start off phrasal verb
1 (I, T) to begin happening or make something begin happening
(start sth off): Richard started the discussion off by telling us about his experiences in Africa. | The match started off at a fast and furious pace.
2 (I) to begin a journey: What time will we have to start off in the morning?
3 (I) to move in a particular direction: The bus started off slowly up the road.
4 (transitivestart someone off) to help someone begin an activity: I tried to start the children off by giving them ideas for things to write about.
5 (transitive start someone off) informal to make someone get angry, or start laughing, by saying something: Don't mention Steve's name to Jenny; it'll only start her off! | start sb off doing sth: David's remarks started the girls off giggling.
start sb on sth phrasal verb (T) to make someone start doing something regularly, especially because it will be good for them: We started Gemma on solid foods when she was four months old. start on sth phrasal verb (T) to begin doing something or using something: Let's start on the wine shall we? | I guess it's time we started on the packing. start on at sb phrasal verb (T) to begin criticizing someone or complaining to them about something: Ray's wife started on at him about how he spent too much time in the pub. start over phrasal verb (I) AmE to start doing something again from the beginning, especially because you want to do it better: If you make a mistake when you're keying, just press delete and start over. 2 noun
1 OF AN ACTIVITY/EVENT (countable usually singular) the beginning of an activity or event or the point at which it starts to develop
(+ of): This fighting marked the start of more widespread civil unrest. | 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. | from start to finish: The concert was a fiasco from start to finish. | get off to a good/bad start (=begin well or badly): Chelsea got off to a good start, beating their opponents 5-0.
2 OF A PERIOD OF TIME (countable usually singular) the beginning of a fixed period of time: the start of the year/day/season: The start of the season was marred by the awful weather. | get off to a good/bad start: The day got off to a bad start when I missesd the train.
3 make a start (on sth) to begin doing something: I guess it's time I made a start on the housework.
4 SPORT the start the place where a race begins: The horses were all lined up at the start.
5 ADVANTAGE (countable usually singular) a situation in which you have an advantage over other people: George was grateful to his parents for the start they'd given him. | a start in life (=things that will help you to succeed in life): Naturally we want to give our kids the best possible start in life.
6 IN A RACE/COMPETITION (countable usually singular) the amount of time or space by which one person is ahead of another, especially in a race or competition: They decided to give the younger boys a sixty metre start.
(+ on): The prisoners had a three hour start on their pursuers.
7 SUDDEN MOVEMENT (singular) a sudden movement of the body, usually caused by fear or surprise: with a start: Ted woke up with a start and felt for the light switch. | give you a start (=frighten or surprise you): The sound of footsteps gave me quite a start..
8 for a start used to emphasize the first of a list of facts or opinions you are stating: Vincent should never have been picked for the team; for a start he has not had enough experience.
—see also: false start, in/by fits and starts fit 3 (6)

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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