(intr) to set out on a journey
to be or make the first step in an activity; initiate: he started the show off with a lively song
(tr) to cause (a person) to act or do something, such as to laugh, to tell stories, etc
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
How to use start off in a sentence
There was something about the man that Matt liked, in spite of the deceit he had practised at the start-off of their acquaintance.Motor Matt's "Century" Run | Stanley R. Matthews
These were for use only when an emergency made it necessary to take a start-off from land.White Fire | Roy J. Snell
Somewhat late, we realize that not a great deal has been said about weather conditions for the start-off.Merchantmen-at-Arms | David W. Bone
It would wear off in time, but it takes time for it to wear off; and it had to go pretty rusty for a start-off.A Modern Instance | William Dean Howells
It had a sensational start-off, and action was at high tension every minute.My Adventures with Your Money | George Graham Rice
Other Idioms and Phrases with start off
Set out on a trip, as in We plan to start off in the morning. [Early 1800s] Also see start out.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.