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start - definition and synonyms


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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



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noun start pronunciation in British English /stɑː(r)t/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    [singular] the beginning of a period of time
    start of: At the start of the final year, students do work experience.
    The revolutions of 1848 marked the start of a fascinating period in world history.
    This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.
    from start to finish: The operation takes about 15 minutes from start to finish.
    1. a.
      [singular] the beginning of a film, story, show etc
      Let’s look at the start of the story in more detail.
      Hurry up or we’ll miss the start.
  2. 2
    [singular] the way that someone begins a period of time or activity
    start to: There’s no better start to the day than a healthy breakfast.
    have/make a great/fine/excellent etc start: Hakkinen had a great start and was in second place by the first corner.
    Waddle has made an excellent start to his new career.
  3. 3
    [singular] the beginning of a journey
    After an early start, we were soon out of the city.
  4. 4
    [singular] the moment when a race begins
    The start has been brought forward by 30 minutes.
    1. a.
      [singular] the place where a race begins
      The runners were all gathered at the start.
    2. b.
      [countable] mainly journalism an occasion when a sports player takes part in a game at the beginning
      Liverpool gave Jamie Redknapp his first start of the season against Fulham.
    3. c.
      [singular] an advantage that you have in a race or competition, by beginning it in a better position than the other people
      The women runners are given a 50-metre start.
  5. 5
    [singular] a big change, or a new opportunity in your life
    a new/fresh start: She travelled to Hong Kong, hoping for a new start.
    give someone a start: The money she lent him would give him a fresh start.
  6. 6
    [singular] a sudden movement that you make because you are surprised or afraid
    give a start: She gave a nervous start as the door suddenly opened.
    give someone a start: A noise in the road gave us all a start.
    wake/sit up with a start: She woke with a start from her dream.



a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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