Definition of startling in US English:



  • Very surprising, astonishing, or remarkable.

    ‘he bore a startling likeness to their father’
    ‘she had startling blue eyes’
    • ‘As a dancer he is admired for his startling grace, superb technique, and amazing control.’
    • ‘The sugary flanks of the mountains sit out with startling clarity across the valley.’
    • ‘Lexa was about to respond to this startling remark, but a new arrival beat her to it.’
    • ‘People still spoke of the startling geniality of its citizens and the rare peace of its neighbourhood.’
    • ‘And, he has a startling reason to offer about staying away from cinema for so long.’
    • ‘It's a startling shade of blue grey, but apart from that, it's very well styled.’
    • ‘As expected for a creature of my startling intellect, I have a surprise for you.’
    • ‘The startling images and poetic text seem at first as incoherent as the ramblings of an old woman's mind.’
    • ‘It presented a startling image, like the inside of a part of a house that had just been bombed and was about to collapse.’
    • ‘The decision to invest in its German network is the culmination of a startling turnround at MMO2.’
    • ‘But in startling contrast, let me show you another side of the worm's nature.’
    • ‘But in other cases the police uncover a startling disjunction between appearance and reality.’
    • ‘After he'd moved out of their home, Clews says she made a startling discovery.’
    • ‘Suddenly the river appeared, far below, a hot spot of startling blue, winding its way through the earth.’
    • ‘I'd seen him on the Meadowbank bus a few years before, wearing startling leather hot pants.’
    • ‘Standing in Banda Aceh as the disaster unfolded around him, he knew he had captured the startling images of the tragedy.’
    • ‘He had golden tanned skin, startling blue eyes and short blonde hair.’
    • ‘The results, always impertinent and delightful, can be both startling and surprising.’
    • ‘One of the startling things about this case was the confession of the two brothers.’
    • ‘It offers some startling lessons in how we look at ourselves as well as how we perceive the stage of reality around us.’
    surprising, astonishing, amazing, unexpected, unforeseen, staggering, shocking, stunning
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