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90s Slang You Should Know


[self-stahr-ter] /ˈsɛlfˈstɑr tər/
starter (def 3).
Informal. a person who begins work or undertakes a project on his or her own initiative, without needing to be told or encouraged to do so.
Origin of self-starter
First recorded in 1890-95
Related forms
self-starting, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for self-starter
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Morane was equipped with a self-starter, but three attendants were on hand to hold the machine.

  • Doc pushed the self-starter; there came a click, a low humming.

    The Dark Star Robert W. Chambers
  • It was a simple matter to even blunder on pushing the button that would set the self-starter in operation.

  • "Six cylinder, self-starter," continued Sam with increasing enthusiasm.

    The Major Ralph Connor
  • He aided Janice into the seat, but slipped behind the steering wheel himself and touched the self-starter.

    The Mission of Janice Day Helen Beecher Long
  • Mamise saw that most of the employees were employees because they lacked the self-starter of ambition.

    The Cup of Fury Rupert Hughes
  • As a country sobers up it takes to sugar as a "self-starter" to provide the energy needed for the strenuous life.

    Creative Chemistry Edwin E. Slosson
  • It had a self-starter, which was, as they usually appear to be, out of commission.

    The Idyl of Twin Fires Walter Prichard Eaton
  • There was an inextricable mass of phrases—six-cylinder, self-starter, non-puncturable, non-skiddable.

    Skinner's Dress Suit Henry Irving Dodge
British Dictionary definitions for self-starter


the former name for a starter (sense 2)
a person who is strongly motivated and shows initiative, esp at work
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 self-starter

1894, of engines, 1960, of persons (especially workers), from self- + starter. Self-starting (adj.), of motors, is attested from 1866.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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