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startling

[stahrt-ling, stahr-tl-ing] /ˈstɑrt lɪŋ, ˈstɑr tl ɪŋ/
adjective
1.
creating sudden alarm, surprise, or wonder; astonishing.
Origin of startling
Related forms
startlingly, adverb
unstartling, adjective

startle

[stahr-tl] /ˈstɑr tl/
verb (used with object), startled, startling.
1.
to disturb or agitate suddenly as by surprise or alarm.
2.
to cause to start involuntarily, by or as by a sudden shock.
verb (used without object), startled, startling.
3.
to start involuntarily, as from a shock of surprise or alarm.
noun
4.
a sudden shock of surprise, alarm, or the like.
5.
something that startles.
Origin
before 1100; Middle English stertlen to rush, caper, equivalent to stert(en) to start + -(e)len -le, or continuing Old English steartlian to kick, struggle
Related forms
startlement, noun
startler, noun
outstartle, verb (used with object), outstartled, outstartling.
unstartled, adjective
Synonyms
1. scare, frighten, astonish. See shock1 .
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for startling
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The effect on the boy of this startling manifestation was not radically beneficial, as he himself concedes.

    The Story of the Mormons William Alexander Linn
  • But this was not so startling as what it showed in the foreground.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • His servant was alarmed by startling screams, entered his room, and found his master in fearful convulsions.

    A Love Story A Bushman
  • At the dread word, a startling change was wrought in the girl.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Ludwig set off first; my deer gave a startling leap, dashed around the corner of the house, and made down the hill.

    Northern Travel Bayard Taylor
British Dictionary definitions for startling

startling

/ˈstɑːtlɪŋ/
adjective
1.
causing surprise or fear; striking; astonishing
Derived Forms
startlingly, adverb

startle

/ˈstɑːtəl/
verb
1.
to be or cause to be surprised or frightened, esp so as to start involuntarily
Derived Forms
startler, noun
Word Origin
Old English steartlian to stumble; related to Middle High German starzen to strut, Norwegian sterta to strain oneself
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 startling

startle

v.

c.1300, "run to and fro," frequentative of sterten (see start (v.)). Sense of "move suddenly in surprise or fear" first recorded 1520s. Transitive meaning "frighten suddenly" is from 1590s. The word retains more of the original meaning of start (v.). Related: Startled; startling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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