Definition of starter in English:



  • 1A person or thing that starts in a specified way.

    ‘I'm just a slow starter’
    • ‘A slow starter at the best of times, he kept missing good-length balls from the mighty Murtagh and Sampson.’
    • ‘Johnson always has been a bit of a slow starter in terms of throwing out runners.’
    • ‘Throughout my whole career I've basically been a slow starter.’
    • ‘He does however still drift in and out of games, whilst he seems to be a slow starter to each new season.’
    • ‘That's another way of saying she is a slow starter and sometimes even a no-starter.’
    • ‘Maria had to come back from a set down against Ai Sugiyama, too, but that doesn't make her a slow starter.’
    • ‘Also a serious Palme d' Or contender, Chunhyang is a slow starter.’
    • ‘As a professional footballer, Paul was a late starter.’
    • ‘It will be interesting to see how Greer, traditionally a slow starter, responds to the long layoff.’
    • ‘After the best first round of his career by a champion who formerly had the reputation of being a slow starter, the only question was how long Brodie would last.’
    • ‘Like his good friend Henry he has been a slow starter although he remains confident of an upturn.’
    • ‘Arguello was usually a slow starter and Ismael was a very good counter puncher.’
    • ‘He may have been a slow starter, but lately O'Shea has been surging forward.’
    • ‘Favourite Ivan Denisovich was a slow starter, and could only finish fourth.’
    • ‘Perhaps fortunately for Finley, he is usually a slow starter and thus is used to overcoming slumps.’
    • ‘Johnny wanted him to come out, but the staff said, you know, he's a slow starter.’
    • ‘Despite the crowd's obvious enthusiasm, the gig was a slow starter.’
    • ‘I look forward to St Valentine's Day, partly because I was a late starter and never received any cards or presents until I met my partner nine years ago.’
    • ‘Throughout his career, he has always been a slow starter - but a great finisher.’
    • ‘One of the things about being a slow starter is that you work a little harder.’
    novice, beginner, tyro, neophyte, new recruit, raw recruit, fledgling, new boy, new girl, novitiate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A person who gives the signal for the start of a race.
      • ‘At the second race, the starter didn't show up, and Sweeney's career as a flagman was launched.’
      • ‘As the starters signalled the first race a light rain signalled the wintry conditions at Munich's Olympic regatta course.’
      • ‘Tarapore and Kapila even had the discomfiture of being fined five penalty points for jumping the starter's gun in the second race.’
      • ‘‘The starter held the race while the announcer told people I was retiring,’ said Hickman.’
    2. 1.2with adjective A horse, competitor, or player taking part in a race or game at the start.
      ‘the trainer has confirmed Cool Ground as a definite starter’
      • ‘Susan Magnier's Reach for the Moon is the lone starter from the powerful Aidan O'Brien stable.’
      • ‘Sir Spellbinder, a ten-year-old son of Time for a Change, has one other starter out of five foals in one crop of racing age.’
      • ‘Classic starters Pinpoint and Hal's Image finished sixth and seventh, respectively.’
      • ‘Hendricks had been winless with 18 previous starters during the Del Mar meet.’
      • ‘Mullins says Mossy Greene is his only definite starter but that the two big names are ready to run and will reappear quite soon even if they don't make Clonmel.’
      • ‘Same Day Blues is Same Day Delivery's first starter from 10 foals in his first crop of racing age.’
      • ‘Hold That Tiger is the only one of O'Brien's potential starters to have raced in the United States this year.’
      • ‘Frankel's other starter in the race, Stronach Stable's Milwaukee Brew, figures to be closing in deep stretch.’
      • ‘Average starters remained the same from 2002 with 9.1 going to the gate this year.’
      • ‘It also prompted Bailey to tout the filly, trained by Frank Brothers, as a possible starter in the Breeders' Cup Sprint.’
      • ‘O'Brien also outlined plans with Racing Post for some of his other prominent starters in regards to the Breeders' Cup.’
      • ‘She is the only starter from four foals of racing age in her sire's first crop.’
      • ‘Sellers was injured when he was thrown from his mount, first-time starter Hike, before the afternoon's fifth race.’
      • ‘Worse still, every paper lists him as a definite starter in Sunday's game.’
      • ‘Paraneck Stable's former classic starter Griffinite has been retired due to a slight ligament strain in his left front leg.’
      • ‘He has sired one starter from two foals of racing age.’
      • ‘Shirttail is the only starter from five foals in the first crop of racing age of Shirttail Flying, who has also sired four yearlings.’
      • ‘Four of the 12 listed starters were scratched as the race was contested over a turf course listed as soft.’
      • ‘Taiki Blizzard is the most recent Japanese-based starter in the Breeders' Cup Classic.’
      • ‘Freshman sire Canvas has sired one winner and one starter from 11 foals of racing age in his first crop.’
    3. 1.3Baseball The pitcher who starts the game.
      • ‘Both benches will be key in letting the starters decide this game.’
      • ‘Torre hasn't announced the starter for Sunday's game against Boston, and didn't completely rule out Brown.’
      • ‘The four starters, key pitchers in this series, were more than a full run higher at 3.52.’
      • ‘Clearly, even as starters, these pitchers were lethal to opposing hitters.’
      • ‘You end up playing their NBA teams, but against less skilled players who wouldn't be starters for a game.’
      • ‘The Giants pulled ahead early in the first three games against shaky Dodger starters, only to let the Dodgers claw their way back into the game.’
      • ‘He was a late-inning replacement in each of the four World Series games after being a starter for the previous three seasons.’
      • ‘Manager Phil Garner wants his pitchers, particularly the starters, to be more aggressive.’
      • ‘Perez did not emerge as a consistent major league starter until last season, but his talent was discovered much earlier.’
      • ‘The only way they can revive is if their young pitchers develop into quality starters, but two of their best will be out in 2005.’
      • ‘Excellent prospect as a major league starter - three above-average pitches.’
      • ‘Kieswetter was able to empty his bench in the final minute and allow the large crowd to salute the veteran starters who exited the game.’
      • ‘Manager Jimy Williams will need to use his starters deeper into games; the Cubs' bullpen is far stronger.’
      • ‘Yogi Berra hit a two-run homer in the third inning off starter Bob Buhl.’
      • ‘The team should sign a cheap center fielder, a cheaper third basemen, and a starter.’
      • ‘I will touch on many of the topics, the Yankees, the A's, an article on the game's better starters.’
      • ‘The length of time a young starter remains in a game is now pretty much governed by his pitch count.’
      • ‘This represents a combined total of just 23 wins for both starters for the first game of a World Series.’
      • ‘The only starter in that game who did not reach the Hall of Fame was National League center fielder Wally Berger of the Boston Braves.’
      • ‘Completing a lot of innings and winning games is what a starter strives for.’
    4. 1.4 A topic, question, or other item with which to start a group discussion or course of study.
      ‘material to act as a starter for discussion’
      • ‘The photos make it a great gift idea, while the information acts as a starter for readers with a new interest in wine.’
      • ‘There have been no protests about people who feel their right to debate a contentious assertion in the NDT has been quashed by over-zealous topic starters.’
      • ‘The book may serve as a conversation starter for thoughtful parents and gifted children.’
      • ‘This book is a good starter for building your personal picture of the Korean War.’
      • ‘As a starter for analyst research, what about the following?’
      • ‘The book could be used as a discussion starter in a Christian Education program, though I don't recommend it.’
      • ‘The most important structuring device of this approach is the question starters that are provided to students to guide their peer discussion.’
      • ‘We invite news organizations to use the guidelines as a discussion starter to craft or revise their own policies and guidelines.’
      • ‘If you don't want to be so formal, don't bother with a list of discussion starters.’
      • ‘You can look up both pitches on Smith's opponents' websites, in addition to their platforms, which have many potential discussion starters.’
      • ‘Summary Points and Essay / Critical Thinking Questions wrap up each chapter, serving as discussion starters.’
      • ‘All of these questions are in the form of question starters, such as, What does… mean?’
      • ‘Also, it may serve as a discussion starter for small cooperative groups or with the whole group in the university classroom.’
      • ‘Occasionally it's been the starter for a conversation.’
      • ‘Sometimes open-ended questions for class discussions were effective starters.’
    5. 1.5as modifier Denoting something regarded as suitable for a person who is new to a particular activity, product, etc.
      ‘consumers upgrading from a regular mobile phone to a starter smartphone’
      • ‘He told me that a good starter bike would run me about $400, and there the dream died.’
      • ‘It's a good starter biography for younger viewers who might go on to familiarize themselves with the writings of this great author.’
      • ‘It's a great starter phone for someone who is not real tech savvy.’
      • ‘If you want to tackle the tricky world of permanent life insurance, here's a starter guide.’
      • ‘If you are looking for the perfect starter classic or simply a weekend car for blatting about in, this is the car for you.’
      • ‘I find my modest starter garden in the city highly satisfying.’
      • ‘Every day on my way to work I pass the site of a new "starter castle" - the six-car garage kind springing up in farm fields and open land across the country.’
      • ‘It's a good painting at a good price—a starter Warhol—but someone else is willing to go to almost $1.5 million.’
      • ‘It seems like a lot of people think that a guinea pig or a rabbit is a good starter pet for a child.’
  • 2An automatic device for starting a machine, especially the engine of a vehicle.

    as modifier ‘the starter motor’
    • ‘This meant that he had to get off the start line of stages five and six using just the starter motor.’
    • ‘When you turn the ignition key, the starter motor spins the engine a few revolutions so that the combustion process can start.’
    • ‘I grimaced, crossing my fingers and jabbing the starter button for the engine.’
    • ‘On his return, I sat into the car, turned on the ignition and pulled the starter switch and the engine came to life immediately.’
    • ‘The difference is there is a helicopter starter engine that always keeps the turbo spinning at high revs, and hence the power.’
    • ‘Then the starter motor packed up, so from that point on I always parked on a hill so I could bump start it.’
    • ‘This system is setup so that the driver, with foot on the brake, pushes the button once, and the starter cranks until the engine starts.’
    • ‘What's needed is a new version of the automatic starter that replaced those antique car hand cranks.’
    • ‘About the most modern part of the electronics on the Morgan is the ignition key to connect the battery to the starter motor!’
    • ‘Mikes double stint was further delayed when a starter motor problem forced the team to push the car into the garage while the component was replaced.’
    • ‘It starts a combustion engine by igniting a fuel-air charge without engaging the starter motor.’
    • ‘However, concern over the starter motor stayed with them until the end of the rally.’
    • ‘The hybrid's electric motor itself serves as the starter motor.’
    • ‘The team had also lost time changing a starter motor, and then Dayton received a stop-and-go penalty for speeding in the pit lane.’
    • ‘Retired bus driver Alan Liptrot, 66, was knocked down by the Skoda car as he used a piece of wire to start a faulty starter motor.’
    • ‘She said they had hired Mr Moss to fix a starter motor on one of their fleet, a 50-seater 40 ft-long coach.’
    • ‘My car mechanic, recently working on my car's engine, struggled for an hour to remove the starter motor.’
    • ‘From the darkened bar from which I dictate this missive, I can hear the starter engines revving up!’
    • ‘Mysteriously, my starter motor failed whilst the car was with them too.’
    • ‘The rocker switch was positioned to the left engine and the starter switch was engaged.’
    1. 2.1 A railway signal controlling the starting of trains from a station or other location.
      • ‘The starter signal may show Attention or Caution to provide permission for a train to leave a station, instead of the Proceed indication.’
  • 3British The first course of a meal.

    • ‘Despite the flaws, there was enough expertise in the starters and second course to confirm that there is still a great deal of talent in the Balbirnie kitchen.’
    • ‘Even at buffet dinners, it is advisable to stick to the usual schedule of salads, soups, starters, main course and dessert.’
    • ‘The guests will enjoy a four-course meal that includes two starters of fresh asparagus and a seafood mix.’
    • ‘Do I need to tell you that the last thing you want as a starter to your evening meal after a day of tropical heat is eggs Benedict?’
    • ‘To round off a quality meal, we also found that the puddings were a rarity - ones that lived up to the quality of the starters and main courses.’
    • ‘From finger foods and starters to main courses, pastry and puddings, he has produced a range of ingenious recipes to tempt even the most committed carnivore.’
    • ‘This one has mangos in all dishes from starters, soups to main course delicacies and desserts.’
    • ‘The variety of food is extremely wide - from salads, cold and hot starters and pizzas to main courses of lamb, pork, chicken, or fish.’
    • ‘On our visit last week we threw caution to the wind and ordered nearly a meal's worth of starters.’
    • ‘Contestants will have one hour to create menus, which must include a seafood starter and seafood main course along with suggested accompanying wines.’
    • ‘TV chef Lesley Waters has been recruited to showcase a range of mouth-watering British recipes, including starters, main courses and puddings.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, down in Pimlico, four starters, four main courses, two ice creams, three beers and a pot of tea came to £65 with tip.’
    • ‘It offered the usual salads, starters, cooked meals, wines and rakias as well as a decent selection of seafood dishes at very good prices.’
    • ‘But there's nothing small about the menu, which changes every eight weeks: seven starters and seven main courses, plus a list of daily specials.’
    • ‘We had delicious salad starters, followed by steak and chicken dishes and then divine chocolate puddings.’
    • ‘They served the starters with the main course, knocked over bottles of beer, forgot the dessert menu and couldn't get the credit card machine to work for a while.’
    • ‘It's not like your average menu of starters, main courses and puddings, where you can gauge how much of each to eat if you want to leave room for the rest.’
    • ‘Serve them at tea time or as starters before meals.’
    • ‘So was the food, which consisted of three starters and a main course of three curries, pilau rice and two nan breads.’
    • ‘We spent the next 10 minutes trying to choose two starters and main courses - we usually share, having half of each other's dishes.’
    canapé, first course, finger food, titbit, savoury, snack
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  • 4informal A plan or idea that has a chance of succeeding and is therefore worthy of consideration.

    ‘she began to think that she must move away, yet she knew that it was not even a starter’
    • ‘As a football player, he was not even a starter.’
  • 5A bacterial culture used to initiate souring in making yogurt, cheese, or butter.

    • ‘With their understanding of the company, they were the starter culture, in Mackey's metaphor, launching the fermentation that would turn Columbus Circle into a true Whole Foods store.’
    • ‘Finding a suitable starter culture can at times be difficult.’
    • ‘Let it cool to about 45 degrees and add yogurt starter culture, available at health food stores, or live culture yogurt from the grocery store.’
    • ‘After incubation at 37°C for 2 days, a single colony was picked and put into a 10 ml starter culture which also contained 20 g/ml chloramphenicol.’
    • ‘Then a starter culture of lactic streptococci and lactobacilli bacteria is added.’
    • ‘Fruit may contribute undesirable yeasts and bacteria to the yogurt, making it a poor starter culture.’
    • ‘The starter cultures generally are desirable bacteria that produce lactic acid, gas for eye development, flavor, color and texture, and give milk its consistency.’
    • ‘The first step is to add a starter culture to milk, and add to that a rennet coagulant, made from a calf's fourth stomach.’
    • ‘The traditional process of cheesemaking ensues when the bacteria in the starter culture begin growing by fermenting the lactose in the milk into lactic acid.’
    • ‘The starter culture was diluted 1: 30 into fresh medium containing 100 M of IPTG.’
    • ‘However, these counts may not accurately reflect probiotic content as they do not differentiate probiotic bacteria from starter culture bacteria such as S. thermophilus.’
    • ‘Strains are available for a range of desired properties; for instance, there are designated classes of cultures for use in cheese starter cultures, yogurt, milk, buttermilk and sour cream.’
    • ‘A 10 mL starter culture (LB broth with 50 mg/mL carbenicillin) was inoculated from frozen stock and incubated overnight at 37°C with shaking.’
    • ‘‘They're normal inhabitants of our gastrointestinal tracts; they're used as starter cultures in different cheeses in Egypt; and there are a lot of Enterococcus that enter our system,’ she says.’
    • ‘The starter culture initiates the process, and begins the growth of the bacteria.’
    • ‘Oxygen is an especially important nutrient, which is supplied in large quantity during production of the yeast starter culture.’
    • ‘The TBAK technology determines bacterial counts in cheese starter cultures in fewer than 10 minutes.’
    • ‘It will also be valuable for natural cheeses, and if they want to know the starter culture.’
    • ‘To the company's intellectual property belongs also a collection of over 700 lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria isolated from ecologically pure regions of the country and over 100 various starter culture combinations.’
    • ‘‘Where my gut feeling is, the important factors are proper starter culture, proper usage, and raw milk quality,’ says Reddy.’
    novice, learner, student, pupil, trainee, apprentice, probationer
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    1. 5.1 A preparation of chemicals to initiate the breakdown of vegetable matter in making compost.
      • ‘It isn't necessary to add the starter culture, but Gates recommends it to ensure that your vegetables begin fermenting with a hardy strain of healthy bacteria.’
      • ‘This suggests that phosphorus is more important than nitrogen in the starter fertilizer.’


  • for starters

    • informal First of all; to start with.

      ‘‘Anything else?’ ‘That'll do for starters.’’
      • ‘There's a few others I can't remember the names of, but that'll do for starters.’
      • ‘Well, for starters, it's going to be hard to bring home all your stuff from Wal-Mart now.’
      • ‘Well, for starters he is a columnist for the left-wing American Prospect magazine.’
      • ‘He praised Secretary Rice for starters, saying he thought her trip had gone quite well.’
      • ‘It shows how narrow economic modelling is, for starters, let alone whether or not it's been done accurately.’
      • ‘But, for starters, the metal and glass front has to go and the ancient walls properly replaced.’
      • ‘So burgers, wool, zoos and safe medicine are out, for starters.’
      • ‘Well, for starters, some red wine always helps to mellow the evening.’
      • ‘Put it this way, the junkie people in London couldn't afford it, for starters: the drinks are extremely expensive.’
      • ‘Well, for starters we must remember that he was only 32 when he was shot.’
  • under starter's orders

    • (of horses, runners, or other competitors) ready to start a race and just waiting for the signal.

      • ‘The race is under starter's orders to find the UK's strongest man.’
      • ‘Two months before the Royal event goes under starter's orders, Ascot ‘tsar’ Shane Chalmers today rolled out a detailed timetable of entertainment.’
      • ‘There are seven races on each day with the first race coming under starter's orders at 2.15 pm.’
      • ‘Birch, 32, is competing in the London Marathon, which gets under starter's orders on April 14 on behalf of City and the Trust.’
      • ‘They're under starter's orders for this year's Great Yorkshire Show, with organisers determined to bounce back after 2001's foot and mouth-enforced cancellation.’
      • ‘The skies cleared on Sunday long enough to enable Salisbury Racecourse's 2004 season to finally go under starter's orders, writes Mike Turner.’
      • ‘It's too early to name the runners and riders, let alone pretend we are under starter's orders.’
      • ‘The running of Africa's greatest horse-race event at Greyville looks set to smash records, and that's before the horses come under starter's orders.’
      • ‘The nation will be holding its breath today as one of the most eagerly anticipated sporting events of the year gets under starter's orders.’
      • ‘Racing comes under starter's orders at 1pm and is set to end at 4.30 pm.’