Definition of start in in US English:

start in

phrasal verb

  • 1Begin doing something, especially talking.

    ‘people groan when she starts in about her acting ambitions’
    • ‘Unfortunately, if I back the car out of the driveway, she's going to see those two little patches of dirt and start in on a variation of Mother's ‘what will the neighbors think’ speech.’
    • ‘Right away, they started in on their lectures, going on about how martial arts encouraged bowing down to a higher power that was definitely not God, and that I should be very careful.’
    • ‘One young lady noticed I had a VIP pass, and started in on me with her need to get backstage.’
    • ‘After we were done, she started in on all the details.’
    • ‘She agreed, stubbornly, and I started in on what Folttel had told me, and watched as Jana's eyes went slowly and slowly wider.’
    • ‘I sighed as I reached the podium, pulling my mirror out of my pocket and putting it on the stand in front of me and swept my eyes over the crowd once before starting in on my speech.’
    • ‘Fred starts in on how, this week, he chose some of his wife's best clothes, some of the clothes which he says were custom made, and offered them to his neighbor and, as a result, he feels that he has made progress and is coping better.’
    • ‘‘It wasn't, and I have to go,’ I injected the last part right before she could start in on more questions.’
    • ‘Then you start in on the ‘X passage should have been translated as Y’ stuff.’
    • ‘He ran the fastball, you know, the one that kind of starts in and goes back over the plate.’
    1. 1.1start in onNorth American Begin to do or deal with.
      ‘you vacuum the stairs and I'll start in on the laundry’
      • ‘I stare wild-eyed at the computer and instead of jumping up and starting in on those lists and to-dos, I stare some more.’
      • ‘It was 7: 30, almost dark, by the time Geoff started in on his 21st consecutive, and final, operation.’
      • ‘Then, at 10:00 am, he started in on the last remaining manuals.’
      • ‘I finished off the last novel of a mystery series I love yesterday and have no others to start in on, so I think I'll turn in for the night.’
      • ‘Planting continued across the state at the end of the week, with some producers finishing up their corn and starting in on their soybeans.’
      • ‘‘So,’ he said as he started in on his third doughnut.’
      • ‘We'd reached the middle of the dance floor by this point, and I turned to face him, putting my free arm on his shoulder and starting in on the steps right away.’
      • ‘Once we were home, we started in on the outside decorations.’
      • ‘The rented organist started in on the familiar measures of ‘Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring,’ and Father Marino strode onto the altar.’
      • ‘He sat down and dug in, licking his bowl clean and then starting in on the fruit.’
    2. 1.2start in onNorth American Attack verbally; begin to criticize.
      ‘before you start in on me, let me explain’
      • ‘But when she and Mack left, they started in on how fat she was.’
      • ‘We get more done than she sometimes gives us credit for, which does cause me considerable frustration when she starts in on the, ‘We never do anything,’ riff that is one of her specialties.’
      • ‘But we are hesitant to start in on this business of who's there and who isn't.’
      • ‘Almost immediately my father started in on how the person who was out in California who made the first complaint about had way too much time on their hands.’
      • ‘One day, I'm having dinner and he starts in on me about something or another and mentions the spaghetti I'm eating.’
      • ‘It funny how those commenting then started in on each other.’
      • ‘I could tell Anna was getting ready to start in on how if I just applied myself more often I could have more ‘productive days’.’
      • ‘The turning point came when she started in on the psychiatrist, who as she pointed out, smoked continually.’
      • ‘As soon as we made it through the front door she started in on me, ‘You were stupid!’’
      • ‘Emma starts in on me about Paul and he just laughs and nudges my shoulder.’