false start

noun
1.
Sports. a premature start by one or more of the contestants, as in a swimming or track event, necessitating calling the field back to start again.
2.
a failure to begin an undertaking successfully.

Origin:
1805–15

Dictionary.com Unabridged

false-start

[fawls-stahrt]
verb (used without object) Sports.
to leave the starting line or position too early and thereby necessitate repeating the signal to begin a race.

Origin:
1805–15

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To false-start
Example sentences
Either player could start the race but if they went too soon, an alarm would sound to signal a false-start.
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