Deeper Dive: start

Start (?), v. t.
1.To cause to move suddenly; to disturb suddenly; to startle; to alarm; to rouse; to cause to flee or fly; as, the hounds started a fox.
Upon malicious bravery dost thou come To start my quiet? Shak.
Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Cæsar. Shak.
2. To bring onto being or into view; to originate; to invent.
Sensual men agree in the pursuit of every pleasure they can start. Sir W. Temple.
3. To cause to move or act; to set going, running, or flowing; as, to start a railway train; to start a mill; to start a stream of water; to start a rumor; to start a business.
I was engaged in conversation upon a subject which the people love to start in discourse. Addison.
4. To move suddenly from its place or position; to displace or loosen; to dislocate; as, to start a bone; the storm started the bolts in the vessel.
One, by a fall in wrestling, started the end of the clavicle from the sternum. Wiseman.
5. [Perh. from D. storten, which has this meaning also.] (Naut.) To pour out; to empty; to tap and begin drawing from; as, to start a water cask.
Start , n.
1. The act of starting; a sudden spring, leap, or motion, caused by surprise, fear, pain, or the like; any sudden motion, or beginning of motion.
The fright awakened Arcite with a start. Dryden.
2. A convulsive motion, twitch, or spasm; a spasmodic effort.
For she did speak in starts distractedly. Shak.
Nature does nothing by starts and leaps, or in a hurry. LEstrange.
3. A sudden, unexpected movement; a sudden and capricious impulse; a sally; as, starts of fancy.
To check the starts and sallies of the soul. Addison.
4. The beginning, as of a journey or a course of action; first motion from a place; act of setting out; the outset; -- opposed to finish.
The start of first performance is all. Bacon.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips, Straining upon the start. Shak.
At a start, at once; in an instant. [Obs.]
At a start he was betwixt them two. Chaucer.
To get, or have, the start, to before another; to gain or have the advantage in a similar undertaking; -- usually with of. "Get the start of the majestic world." Shak. "She might have forsaken him if he had not got the start of her." Dryden.
Start , n. [OE. stert a tail, AS. steort; akin to LG. stert, steert, D. staart, G. sterz, Icel. stertr, Dan. stiert, Sw. stjert. √166. Cf. Stark naked, under Stark, Start, v. i.]
1. A tail, or anything projecting like a tail.
2. The handle, or tail, of a plow; also, any long handle. [Prov. Eng.]
3. The curved or inclined front and bottom of a water-wheel bucket.
4. (Mining) The arm, or level, of a gin, drawn around by a horse.
Start (?), v. i. [imp. & p. p. started; p. pr. & vb. n.starting.] [OE. sterten; akin to D. storten 8hurl, rush, fall, G. stürzen, OHG. sturzen to turn over, to fall, Sw. störa to cast down, to fall, Dan. styrte, and probably also to E. start a tail; the original sense being, perhaps, to show the tail, to tumble over suddenly. √166. Cf. Start a tail.]
1.To leap; to jump. [Obs.]
2. To move suddenly, as with a spring or leap, from surprise, pain, or other sudden feeling or emotion, or by a voluntary act.
And maketh him out of his sleep to start. Chaucer.
I start as from some dreadful dream. Dryden.
Keep your soul to the work when ready to start aside. I. Watts.
But if he start, It is the flesh of a corrupted heart. Shak.
3. To set out; to commence a course, as a race or journey; to begin; as, to start business.
At once they start, advancing in a line. Dryden.
At intervals some bird from out the brakesStarts into voice a moment, then is still. Byron.
4. To become somewhat displaced or loosened; as, a rivet or a seam may start under strain or pressure.
To start after, to set out after; to follow; to pursue. -- To start against, to act as a rival candidate against. -- To start for, to be a candidate for, as an office. -- To start up, to rise suddenly, as from a seat or couch; to come suddenly into notice or importance.

-- Webster's unabridged 1913

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