Definition of starter in English:


Syllabification: start·er
Pronunciation: /ˈstärdər


1 [with adjective] A person or thing that starts in a specified way: he was a late starter in photography I’m just a slow starter
More example sentences
  • Also a serious Palme d' Or contender, Chunhyang is a slow starter.
  • Despite the crowd's obvious enthusiasm, the gig was a slow starter.
  • He may have been a slow starter, but lately O'Shea has been surging forward.
1.1A person who gives the signal for the start of a race.
More example sentences
  • ‘The starter held the race while the announcer told people I was retiring,’ said Hickman.
  • As the starters signalled the first race a light rain signalled the wintry conditions at Munich's Olympic regatta course.
  • Tarapore and Kapila even had the discomfiture of being fined five penalty points for jumping the starter's gun in the second race.
1.2 [with adjective] A horse, competitor, or player taking part in a race or game at the start: the trainer has confirmed Cool Ground as a definite starter
More example sentences
  • Worse still, every paper lists him as a definite starter in Sunday's game.
  • Hold That Tiger is the only one of O'Brien's potential starters to have raced in the United States this year.
  • Paraneck Stable's former classic starter Griffinite has been retired due to a slight ligament strain in his left front leg.
1.3 Baseball The pitcher who starts the game.
More example sentences
  • The team should sign a cheap center fielder, a cheaper third basemen, and a starter.
  • This represents a combined total of just 23 wins for both starters for the first game of a World Series.
  • The Giants pulled ahead early in the first three games against shaky Dodger starters, only to let the Dodgers claw their way back into the game.
1.4 Baseball A pitcher who normally starts games, and seldom is used as a relief pitcher.
More example sentences
  • Finally, there will be no designated hitters, and each team will have only two pitchers - a starter and a reliever.
  • Defining a pitcher as a starter or a reliever is a bit tricky, because some pitchers do a little of both over the course of the season.
1.5A topic, question, or other item with which to start a group discussion or course of study: material to act as a starter for discussion
More example sentences
  • Also, it may serve as a discussion starter for small cooperative groups or with the whole group in the university classroom.
  • Occasionally it's been the starter for a conversation.
  • The photos make it a great gift idea, while the information acts as a starter for readers with a new interest in wine.
1.6 [as modifier] Denoting something regarded as suitable for a person who is new to a particular activity, product, etc. consumers upgrading from a regular mobile phone to a starter smartphone
More example sentences
  • It's a great starter phone for someone who is not real tech savvy.
  • It seems like a lot of people think that a guinea pig or a rabbit is a good starter pet for a child.
  • It's a good painting at a good price—a starter Warhol—but someone else is willing to go to almost $1.5 million.
2An automatic device for starting a machine, especially the engine of a vehicle.
More example sentences
  • When you turn the ignition key, the starter motor spins the engine a few revolutions so that the combustion process can start.
  • From the darkened bar from which I dictate this missive, I can hear the starter engines revving up!
  • The difference is there is a helicopter starter engine that always keeps the turbo spinning at high revs, and hence the power.
3chiefly British The first course of a meal; an appetizer.
More example sentences
  • Even at buffet dinners, it is advisable to stick to the usual schedule of salads, soups, starters, main course and dessert.
  • It offered the usual salads, starters, cooked meals, wines and rakias as well as a decent selection of seafood dishes at very good prices.
  • From finger foods and starters to main courses, pastry and puddings, he has produced a range of ingenious recipes to tempt even the most committed carnivore.
4 (also starter culture) A bacterial culture used to initiate souring in making yogurt, cheese, or butter.
More example sentences
  • Then a starter culture of lactic streptococci and lactobacilli bacteria is added.
  • The traditional process of cheesemaking ensues when the bacteria in the starter culture begin growing by fermenting the lactose in the milk into lactic acid.
  • Fruit may contribute undesirable yeasts and bacteria to the yogurt, making it a poor starter culture.
4.1A preparation of chemicals to initiate the breakdown of vegetable matter in making compost.
More example sentences
  • This suggests that phosphorus is more important than nitrogen in the starter fertilizer.
  • It isn't necessary to add the starter culture, but Gates recommends it to ensure that your vegetables begin fermenting with a hardy strain of healthy bacteria.


for starters

informal First of all; to start with.
More example sentences
  • Well, for starters, some red wine always helps to mellow the evening.
  • Well, for starters we must remember that he was only 32 when he was shot.
  • Put it this way, the junkie people in London couldn't afford it, for starters: the drinks are extremely expensive.

Definition of starter in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day bimble
Pronunciation: ˈbɪmb(ə)l
walk or travel at a leisurely pace