starting block

noun Track.
a device used by runners, especially sprinters, for increasing their speed off the mark, consisting of a metal or wooden frame, usually secured to the ground at both ends, with adjustable, triangular-shaped blocks on each side for bracing the feet.

Origin:
1945–50

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
starting block
 
n
one of a pair of adjustable devices with pads or blocks against which a sprinter braces his feet in crouch starts

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
But he lost out in the nationals, perhaps because his car might have been crooked in the starting block.
With the power turned on, an arc is struck between the electrode and a starting block placed in the mold.
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