- to leave the starting line or position too early and thereby necessitate repeating the signal to begin a race.
Origin of false-start
- Sports. a premature start by one or more of the contestants, as in a swimming or track event, necessitating calling the field back to start again.
- a failure to begin an undertaking successfully.
Origin of false start
A wrong beginning, as in After several false starts she finally managed to write the first chapter. The term originated in racing, where it refers to beginning a race before the starting signal has been given. The expression was soon transferred to other kinds of failed beginning. [Early 1800s]