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starter

[stahr-ter] /ˈstɑr tər/
noun
1.
a person or thing that starts.
2.
a person who gives the signal to begin, as for a race, the running of a train, bus, elevator, etc.
3.
a device that starts an internal-combustion engine without a need for cranking by hand.
4.
a person or thing that starts in a race or contest:
Only five starters finished the race.
5.
a culture of bacteria used to start a particular fermentation, as in the manufacture of cheese, buttermilk, sour cream, etc.
6.
Cookery. sourdough (def 1).
7.
Slang. a shill, as at a gaming table in a casino.
8.
Cribbage. the card turned face up on the stack before the play.
adjective
9.
constituting a basis or beginning:
a starter set of dishes; a starter home.
Idioms
10.
for starters, Informal. as the first step or part; initially; first:
We will have soup for starters. For starters, he doesn't even know how to drive.
Origin of starter
1530-1540
1530-40; start + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for starter
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Bill slammed the door and latched it, then fumbled frantically with the starter switch.

  • The starter announced the race, and ordered the contestants to the head of the course.

    Shawn of Skarrow James Tandy Ellis
  • An hour later the starter's flag had fallen and the "free for all" at Mystic Park had begun.

    Frank Merriwell's Races Burt L. Standish
  • He had no starter on his bug; he had in his embarrassment to get out and crank.

    Free Air Sinclair Lewis
  • I remembered the names of about a dozen of them and made the rounds of these for a starter.

    One Way Out William Carleton
British Dictionary definitions for starter

starter

/ˈstɑːtə/
noun
1.
a device for starting an internal-combustion engine, usually consisting of a powerful electric motor that engages with the flywheel Formerly called self-starter
2.
(US) a person who organizes the timely departure of buses, trains, etc
3.
a person who supervises and signals the start of a race
4.
a competitor who starts in a race or contest
5.
(informal, mainly Austral & NZ) an acceptable or practicable proposition, plan, idea, etc
6.
(Austral & NZ, informal) a person who is willing to engage in a particular activity
7.
a culture of bacteria used to start fermentation, as in making cheese or yogurt
8.
(mainly Brit) the first course of a meal
9.
(modifier) designed to be used by a novice: a starter kit
10.
(slang) for starters, in the first place
11.
under starter's orders
  1. (of horses in a race) awaiting the start signal
  2. (of a person) eager or ready to begin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for starter
n.

c.1400, stertour "instigator; one who starts," agent noun from start (v.). For starters "to begin with" is 1873, American English colloquial. Starter home is from 1976; starter set is from 1946, originally of china.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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7
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