General English

Cars & Driving


  • noun the beginning or first part

Information & Library Science

  • noun the place or time at which something begins
  • verb to create something from the beginning


  • verb the beginning
    to begin to do something
    to begin a new business, with no previous turnover to base it on


  • verb to set a machine going


  • acronym forStrategic Arms Reduction Talks
    (written as START)

Origin & History of “start”

Start originally meant ‘jump, leap, caper’ (‘Him lust not (he did not like) to play nor start, nor to dance, nor to sing’, Chaucer, Romance of the Rose 1366). this gradually evolved via ‘make a sudden movement’ to ‘begin a journey’, but it did not emerge as a fully-fledged synonym for ‘begin’ until the end of the 18th century. Startle (OE), which came from the same Germanic base *start-, has kept more closely to the notion of ‘sudden movement’.