constituting a basis or beginning: a starter set of dishes; a starter home.


    for starters, Informal. as the first step or part; initially; first: We will have soup for starters. For starters, he doesn't even know how to drive.

Origin of starter

First recorded in 1530–40; start + -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for starter

opener, originator, pioneer, innovator, inventor, initiator

Examples from the Web for starter

Contemporary Examples of starter

Historical Examples of starter

  • The Starter made answer with a smile of good-humored tolerance.


    W. A. Fraser

  • What could be more noble than the start and the starter of Christianity?

  • For a starter, then, takin' your say-so for it, you're a Southern man?'

    Faro Nell and Her Friends

    Alfred Henry Lewis

  • Opened an account in my name, and fatted it up good and sweet, as a starter.

    Shorty McCabe

    Sewell Ford

  • She was fussing with the starter by this time, but she smiled up at him and shook her head.


    Alice Hegan Rice

British Dictionary definitions for starter



a device for starting an internal-combustion engine, usually consisting of a powerful electric motor that engages with the flywheelFormerly called self-starter
US a person who organizes the timely departure of buses, trains, etc
a person who supervises and signals the start of a race
a competitor who starts in a race or contest
informal, mainly Australian and NZ an acceptable or practicable proposition, plan, idea, etc
Australian and NZ informal a person who is willing to engage in a particular activity
a culture of bacteria used to start fermentation, as in making cheese or yogurt
mainly British the first course of a meal
(modifier) designed to be used by a novicea starter kit
for starters slang in the first place
under starter's orders
  1. (of horses in a race) awaiting the start signal
  2. (of a person) eager or ready to begin
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

Word Origin and History for starter

c.1400, stertour "instigator; one who starts," agent noun from start (v.). For starters "to begin with" is 1873, American English colloquial. Starter home is from 1976; starter set is from 1946, originally of china.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper