Definition of starting block in US English:

starting block


usually starting blocks
  • A shaped rigid block for bracing the feet of a runner at the start of a race.

    ‘they will take their mark on official Olympic starting blocks’
    figurative ‘only six of a planned twenty hotels are off the starting blocks’
    ‘negotiations are not off the starting blocks yet’
    • ‘Scottish companies that hoped to reap the benefits of London's bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games appear to have been left on the starting blocks.’
    • ‘Even the much despised Robbie Savage is no slouch out of the starting blocks but then that's only to prevent himself from getting a pasting.’
    • ‘York is on the starting blocks to play a leading role in the great Olympics extravaganza - after heavyweight backing from Lord Coe.’
    • ‘Charles Booth, inventor of the runner's starting blocks, and the oldest competitor in a class all of his own, at this week's World Masters Games.’
    • ‘By the time these athletes reached the starting blocks they had to have their bodies and mind in racing state - ready to push themselves for about eight minutes.’
    • ‘For example, look at the chaps lining up at the starting blocks for the 100m final at any Olympics.’
    • ‘Alison Sheppard also added a silver medal to the bronze she won earlier - though she had to swim the 50m freestyle final twice to do it after a problem with one of the starting blocks on the first run through.’
    • ‘A Brentwood church and school are already on the starting blocks for the Olympic Games by hosting their own themed event.’
    • ‘The first initiative off the starting blocks is a joint venture with former Olympic hurdler and sprinter Kriss Akabusi.’
    • ‘Still only 19, the Nike-sponsored sprinter will be a relative baby in the starting blocks at the birthplace of the Olympic Games.’
    • ‘For England had come slowly out of the starting blocks and been overwhelmed by a spirited German opening salvo.’
    • ‘Sunday's 35-point loss to Indianapolis looked like a track meet with the Texans mostly stuck in the starting blocks.’
    • ‘Cameras flashed and the fans got to their feet when Jones made her way to the starting blocks.’
    • ‘One guy is in the starting blocks ready to burst forward.’
    • ‘In contrast, Australia used the event as a starting block for its Olympic campaign.’
    • ‘He's not the quickest out of the starting blocks.’
    • ‘Macclesfield have stumbled out of the starting blocks and languish in 17th spot after taking six points from six games.’
    • ‘John Bonham said Laois County Council were one of the first County Councils off the starting blocks to look after the needs of the travelling community.’
    • ‘Businesses, meanwhile, have raced out of the starting blocks and become more forceful players in this recovery.’
    • ‘It is moments before the race begins and eight Olympic finalists prepare themselves behind the starting blocks.’


starting block

/ˈstärdiNG ˌbläk/